Families who register to participate must plan to attend a required training on Monday, December 11 to receive detailed instructions about caring for and feeding their calf and preparing an area to house the calf. Some starter feed and supplies will be provided, thanks to support from the Nolley 4-H Endowment. A small volunteer group of individuals experienced in raising livestock will be on call 24 hours a day to assist with advice and knowledge. Participants will receive a dairy steer calf in late January/February.
The week-old dairy steer calf will be coming from a large dairy farm in Iredell county. Youth will need to care for the calf daily, working with the calf so it is ready to be shown in two local youth livestock shows. These calves are typically 50-75 pounds. They will grow to weigh as much as 500 pounds at show time. The project will conclude with a dairy steer show for participating youth. It will be held as part of the Catawba County Fair in late August 2019. The dairy steers will be sold following the fair showing with proceeds going to the participant. Each calf owner will also need to record their experiences in a 4-H Project Book that will be submitted for judging and awards. By participating in the project, the youth will learn about animal science and veterinary care for large animals while developing a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.
It is not necessary to be a current 4-H member to participate in this project. All interested families are invited to participate in the project. New members are also welcome in the County 4-H Livestock Club. The club is for youth ages 5 and older. Through the club meetings and activities, club members learn about agriculture production and animal science. They also develop leadership and life skills through 4-H experiences and projects relating to animal activities. To participate in the Livestock Club, contact April Dillon, 4-H Agent, at 704-736-8461 For more information about the Dairy Steer Project contact Glenn Detweiler, Livestock Agent, with NCSU Cooperative Extension Service at 405-219-1902 or 828-465-8246.
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