4-H Animal Science Projects

Maine 4-H Animal Science focuses on seven commodities and promotes learning towards goals that can take youth to regional and national competitions. They are beef, dairy, dog, goat, horse, sheep, and working steer.

Volunteers play an integral part in coaching and mentoring youth in carrying out the educational plan for each commodity.

Events | Commodities | Important Dates

Event-Specific Information

County Fairs
Fairs provide opportunities for 4-Hers to exhibit the best of their project work from the past year and see how their skills have grown. Fairs also share with the community what 4-H activities are taking place in their area.

The Blue Hill Fair is the local fair in Hancock County and takes place over Labor Day Weekend each year. Dates for all fairs can be found at Maine Fairs. Also, see information about Maine Fair Season Insurance.

Participation Checklist:

  • Every fair has a different set of rules that need to be carefully reviewed.
  • Submit an Animal Approval Form for 4-H Animal Shows (PDF) to your county extension office by June 30
  • Complete the entry/registration forms (these vary by fair)

Eastern States Exposition
Eastern States Exposition is New England’s largest fair, also known as “The Big E.” It is usually held in September in West Springfield, MA. Maine 4-H members between the ages of 12-18 are eligible to participate in the 4-H Beef, Dairy, Goat, Dog, Horse, Sheep, Working Steer shows; as well as the New England Center Demonstration Team. The Big E motivates and recognizes the achievement of individual 4-H members, while encouraging them to work together as a group. It gives 4-Hers a chance to interact with youth from other states or areas of Maine and to share with the public some of the programs Maine 4-H offers.

Participation Checklist:

Fryeburg Fair

Fryeburg Fair’s 4-H Department serves as the youth division of the Fair’s Livestock Department. The purpose of the 4-H Department at Fryeburg Fair is to promote, support and educate the youth of Maine and New Hampshire in the various fields of agriculture, as well as all the recognized programs of the National 4-H Council. Many 4-H’ers from around the state participate in the livestock shows and sales at the Fryeburg Fair.

Participation Checklist:

  • If planning to sell a market steer and/or lamb: Submit an Intent to Sell a Market Project Form (Beef and/or Sheep)
  • Submit an Animal Approval Form for 4-H Animal Shows (PDF) to your county extension office by June 30
  • Complete the entry/registration forms (See Fryeburg Fair Entry Forms)

Commodity-Specific Information

Beef  | Dairy  | Dog  | Goat |  Horse | Sheep | Working Steer

Important Dates and Deadlines

*This list reflects State 4-H deadlines. It is not an extensive list for ALL deadlines relating to showing your animal. Many county fairs have individual entry deadlines that 4-H participants should be aware of when planning to show their animals*

All forms can be found on the Maine 4-H Animal Science website.

November 1:  Intent to Sell Market BEEF Project at Fryeburg Fair. For 4-H youth planning to enter a market beef project into the sale(s) at Fryeburg fair for the following year. This Intent Form advises the State 4-H Office which animals need to be tagged for these 4-H market classes.

January 10: Beef ESE Team Intent to Participate Form Due. For 4-H youth ages 12-18 interested in joining the Maine 4-H Beef Team at Eastern States Exposition.

February 1: Horse, Dairy, Sheep, Goat, and Dog ESE Team Intent to Participate Form Due. For 4-H youth ages 12-18 interested in trying out for the Maine 4-H Horse, Sheep, Goat, or Dog Teams at Eastern States Exposition.

April 1: Horse ESE Team Animal Approval Form Due (PDF). This animal approval form is due earlier than other commodities specifically for youth intending to participate as members of the Maine 4-H Horse Team at ESE.

May 1: Dairy and Working Steer ESE Team Animal Approval Form Due (PDF). This animal approval form is due earlier than other commodities specifically for youth intending to participate as members of the Maine 4-H Dairy or Working Steer Team at ESE.

Early May (exact date varies): Intent to Sell Market SHEEP Project at Fryeburg Fair. For 4-H youth planning to enter a market sheep project into the sale(s) at Fryeburg fair.

June 30: Animal Approval Form for 4-H Animal Shows Due (PDF). This form is a requirement for all animals that are to be shown in 4-H classes for the coming year. This deadline is for all animals unless an earlier date is designated by a fair premium book, or for ESE Horse, Dairy, and Working Steer Teams (see earlier deadlines above).