Friday, April 12, 2024

Two 4-H animal science events are returning in 2024

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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4-H Animal Science Career Quest is back after a year off and the 4-H Spring Livestock Workshop is back for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic in a new format.

For many 4-H youth, participation in statewide programs is an impactful part of their learning experience. Two influential Michigan 4-H statewide animal science events are back in the first months of 2024. The 4-H Animal Science Mission was held on Saturday, February 17, and the 4-H Spring Livestock Workshop was held on Saturday, March 2, both on the Michigan State University campus. Michigan (MSU) in East Lansing.

4-H Animal Science Career Quest is a career exploration event for middle and high school-age youth interested in working in various animal-related fields. Throughout the day, young people attend breakout sessions in areas of interest to them. In 2024, topics for these breakout sessions included:

  • Species Sessions: Beef, small ruminants, swine, dairy, horses, pets and poultry.
  • Learning Labs: Building skills for your future, blind dog driving, livestock judging, horse judging, dairy judging, dairy nutrition, veterinary medicine, nursing, equine management, and more.
  • Discipline sessions: behaviour, well-being, health, reproduction, nutrition, education and awareness.

4-H Animal Science Career Quest gives young people the opportunity to see the breadth of opportunities available to them that involve working with animals. They can also learn more about the post-secondary education options offered by Michigan State University and connect with Michigan State University faculty and staff. This was the second time Michigan 4-H has offered this program. This year, the program witnessed the participation of more than 80 participants from various parts of the state.

During the reproductive sessions, the youth gained experience in the artificial insemination process using cattle and pig breeding simulators. Autumn Converse photography

The 4-H Spring Livestock Workshop also returned in 2024 after a long hiatus. This program is designed for 4-H youth and volunteers in beef, sheep, hog, and goat projects. It gives participants an opportunity to delve deeper into their projects and other topics such as livestock judging, marketing their livestock project, animal nutrition, animal reproduction and more.

Before 2024, the last time this program was implemented was in February 2020, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Statewide Livestock Programming Committee planned to hold a workshop for 2023 and had registration filled to capacity, but it was ultimately canceled due to a major snow storm. It finally returned this year, and the program saw more than 80 participants from all over Michigan.

These are just two of the many programs offered by the Michigan 4-H Animal Science Team. If you're interested in learning more about statewide 4-H learning experiences like those offered throughout the year, check out Michigan State University's 4-H Extension events calendar.

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