Skip to content
beef cattle
Cooperative Extension: 4-H Youth Leadership

Beef Opportunities

Join 4-H

About the 4-H Beef Project

The 4-H Beef Project is an independent or club project which engages youth ages 5-18 in learning life skills while working with Breeding Heifers and Steers. Participants will receive show dates, deadline reminders, and beef cattle related information through the South Carolina 4-H Livestock Program Facebook page.

Note that 4-H beef project opportunities and shows offered through local county 4-H programs may vary.

girl showing her cow
boy showing steer
girl with steer
horse sticking out its tongue

Project Objectives

  • Develop leadership, initiative, self-reliance, a sense of fair play and other desirable character traits.

  • Experience the pride of owning and raising a breeding and/or market animal and being responsible for its care.

  • Increase knowledge of all aspects of animal science and management of livestock.

  • Learn skills of livestock management and an understanding of the business and career opportunities of breeding, raising, showing, and judging livestock.

  • Develop an appreciation of livestock exhibition as a healthy form of recreation.

  • Develop leadership abilities, build character, and assume citizenship responsibilities, and develop skills, knowledge and attitudes for lifelong use.


Livestock Evaluation

The Livestock Evaluation Contest is a 4-H program which develops self-motivation, self-esteem, and responsibility. Youth have the opportunity to strengthen their communication and leadership skills in an environment which allows contribution to group effort, encourages teamwork and promotes acceptance of differences. The two main components of the contest are placing a group of animals (breeding and/or market cattle, swine, sheep and/or meat goats-does) and then justifying placing decision through a set of oral reasons. Participants compare their opinion of an animal against the ideal as specified by industry experts and learn organizational skills as they compose their thoughts into a cohesive set of reasons justifying their decisions. Competing as team members assists youth with the development of social skills, cooperation and managing feelings, as they become comfortable with working alongside others toward a common goal; integrity, sportsmanship, decision-making abilities and public speaking skills are strengthened through the Livestock Evaluation experience. Participants are also able to develop a knowledge and respect for agriculture and its importance to the community and to the international economy.

Teams may consist of three or four members. All teams with four members will compete, but the member receiving the lowest overall score will be dropped from the final tally for the team total. This individual will still be eligible for individual prizes. Teams consisting of three members will have no score dropped, and all members’ scores will count for individual and team awards. Individuals can compete if a county does not have enough participants to make an entire team.

Upstate Beef Project

The Upstate Beef Project is approximately a 10 month commitment where youth get to experience the market steer and beef industry. Participants select and secure a beef steer and raise him to market (slaughter) weight. Market weight for a beef steer is at least 1,000 pounds with the ideal weight being around 1,250 pounds. Participants will be required to care for, train, and show their steer while documenting their experiences in their project record book. All participants are highly encouraged to complete a project record book. Participants will document items such as:

  • Weight gain (calculated Average Daily Gain-ADG)
  • Amount of feed being fed
  • All project expenses
  • All health care records, including vaccinations
  • Beef related activities, shows, and events attended

South Carolina Junior Beef Round Up

The South Carolina Junior Beef Round Up, hosted by Clemson Extension is a regional cattle show that is open to all eligible youth who are interested in showcasing their breeding and/or market project. This event held at the T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena, Clemson, SC traditionally held during the first weekend of August is known for being much more than just a cattle show! Activities include Sales Talk, Junior Cattlemen’s Contest, Scholarship and Showmanship Competitions along with Silent Auction and a celebration to recognize the selected Scholarship recipients along with the gracious donors.

A judge at a livestock show

Girl practicing with cattle

boy showing at junior beef round up

4-H Agriculture & Animals
4-H Agriculture & Animals | 275-B Lehotsky Hall Clemson, SC 29634