Dairy Programs

Delaware County 4-H has a great dairy program. We offer educational clinics, shows, dairy quiz-bowl, dairy judging, dairy challenge, and more.


All 4-H dairy cattle must be owned and completely registered by June 15 to be shown at the Delaware County Fair and New York State Fair.

PROJECT ANIMALS (4-Hers who do NOT already own stock are eligible)

Did you know that people who do not live on a farm or do not have registered stock can still have a 4-H animal project? The 4-H Project Animal program allows youngsters the chance to care for an animal and show it just as their own.  Some restrictions do apply:

  • A 4-Her may designate two (2) non-owned animals as their project animal, but can only show ONE non-owned animal at the fair. This applies to the county and state level.
  • Project animals can be dairy cattle, beef cattle, dairy goat, meat goat, sheep, swine, horse, and dog.
  • A dairy animal has to be non-milking.
  • You must complete a “Dairy Cattle Non-Ownership Form” (see below)


A team event that uses a question and answer format with game show style buzzers to learn information about dairy cows. Our youth practice once a week during the winter months to get ready for competition. You do not need any previous experience or have to own cows to join the group. Mike Steele is the coach.  Winners may be eligible to compete at the District, State, and National levels.


A series of three barn meetings that take place in late winter and early spring where 4-H youth judge various breeds and classes of dairy cows. The barn meetings take place at various dairy farms in Delaware County that agree to host our 4-Hers for an afternoon. The cows are grouped according to their breed and age. 4-Hers rotate from one class to another with their score cards and rank the animals according to their dairy characteristics.  You do not need any previous experience or own cows to participate.  Beginners are welcome!

STATE CONTEST REQUIREMENTS: To be eligible to represent Delaware County you must attend: 2 of the 3 county barn meetings, AND  2 of the 4 spring and summer judging tours (Susquehanna, Eastern, Central, Finger Lake).


A one day competition held at the Delaware County Fair designed to test youth on their understanding of the dairy industry and how to properly manage a dairy farm.  The contest is set up as a rotation through any or all of the following stations testing skills and knowledge: Dairy Judging, Linear Dairy Evaluation, Farm and Food Safety, Dairy Nutrition and Feeds, Dairy Housing and Facilities, Meat Identification, Dairy Products and Quality Assurance of Dairy Beef, Dairy Health and Diseases/Mastitis and Biosecurity, Dairy Reproduction, and Farm Business Management.  Winners may be eligible to compete at the State and National levels.

SHOWING DAIRY CATTLE AT THE FAIR? (More information available on the Fair Page)

  1. All cattle must be owned and fully registered by June 15. No pending registrations/transfers will be permitted.
  2. All cattle will have their registration papers checked by the Dairy Advisory Committee on Monday of fair week.
  3. All cattle must have a BVD/PI ear notch test prior to fair.
  4. Official breed tags must be visible and unaltered.
  5. No coaching of exhibitors will be allowed from outside of the show ring.


John Hannum
4-H Team Leader 
[email protected]
(607) 865-6531