The Dairy Project is for members who want to learn more about dairy animals. If ownership is not possible, this project allows you to have a contract with a dairy to care for one or more animals. Members usually start with a heifer calf or yearling heifer. Older members may start with a producing cow. Keep milk production records on all producing cows, using Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) guidelines. This project also provides an opportunity to start with a calf and raise it to a producing cow.

Dairy Cattle, Level 1

This level is for beginning members who may or may not own a dairy animal. Through the activities in this level, you will learn about the parts of the dairy cow, various dairy breeds and the cost to raise a calf. You will also learn how to care for a dairy animal and how to recognize desirable traits when selecting calves. If you don’t already have a dairy animal, some of the activities in this level will help you decide whether you want to raise dairy cattle in the future. It may take up to three years to complete this l

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

You must complete a minimum of seven activities

MATERIALS

M Cowabunga!, BU8161, $6.00
L Dairy Cattle Helper’s Guide, BU8164, $6.00
S Dairy Cattle Feed Sheet, 4-H website

Dairy Cattle, Level 2

Level 2 offers new challenges and opportunities to explore a range of activities related to dairy cattle and the dairy industry. In this level, you will learn about housing, hay quality, milking, animal health, parasites, behavior and food safety. You will also learn about ethical decision-making, judging and careers.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

You must complete a minimum of seven activities and five learning experiences each year to complete this project.

MATERIALS

M Moooving Ahead, BU8162, $6.00
L Dairy Cattle Helper’s Guide, BU8164, $6.00
S Dairy Cattle Feed Sheet, 4-H website

Dairy Cattle, Level 3

Whether you raise one calf or several cows, you are in an excellent position to share your knowledge and experiences with others. You’ll also find activities to help you manage your herd, practice mastitis detection, balance a ration, detect pregnancy and deliver a calf. You will also learn about body condition scoring, selecting cattle through records, promoting dairy products and exploring career opportunities.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

You must complete a minimum of seven activities and five learning experiences each year to complete this project.

MATERIALS

M Rising to the Top, BU8163, $6.00
L Dairy Cattle Helper’s Guide, BU8164, $6.00
S Dairy Cattle Feed Sheet, 4-H website

ADDITIONAL PROJECT MATERIALS

L Dairy Resource Handbook, 4H127R, $16.75
Dairy Independent Study 
Dairy Cattle Helper’s Guide, BU8164, $6.00 Four chapters include Cow Talk Glossary Terms, Pedigree Power, a dairy pyramid game and a dairy skillathon as well as many other resources.