Dairy Project

Brown cow staring at camera

What is it All About?

The 4-H Dairy Project allows you to learn about breeds, selection, grooming, production, management, showmanship, marketing, and careers through a dairy animal.

Grow in Your Project


  • Identify different dairy breeds
  • Learn proper feeding of dairy cows
  • Prepare a project animal for show by leading and caring for it.
  • Learning how to properly exhibit your dairy animal and in showmanship
  • Identify how a healthy calf and cow looks and acts


  • Learn the appropriate handling techniques and housing for a dairy animal
  • Exploring different opportunities within the project
  • Learning the difference between each of the breeds
  • Exploring how the dairy cows body works


  • Balance a dairy cows ration
  • Learn how to manage a cow and a new born calf
  • Take a calf ang follow it to a cow
  • Learn how to read a pedigree
  • Properly identify and learn how to treat common diseases
  • Learn how to properly fill and get your animal ready for the ring

Click Here for Dairy Project Member Resources

Click Here for Dairy Project Leader Resources

*Resources available at your local Extension office or shop4-H.org.

Take Your Project Further!

  • Tour a local dairy farm
  • Visit show dairy farm
  • Interview a local dairy farmer in your area
  • Learn more about different dairy brands in Wisconsin
  • Job shadow with a local dairy producer or veterinarian to learn more about animal management and health
  • Attend a dairy show to listen to the judges oral reasons and witness different judging styles
  • Participate in a dairy project workshop or be on your counties 4-H Dairy Judging or Dairy Bowl Team
  • Discover different diary products and by-products
  • Exhibit or attend a local, district, state, national or international shows and conferences

Applying the Dairy Project Skills to Life

Enhance Your Communications Skills

  • Creating a poster about a dairy specific breed, disease or body system and talking the judge through your poster
  • Having and helping out at your counties or neighboring counties Showing and Fitting Workshop
    • Demonstrate show to properly put up a topline, or fit an animal
  • Helping to putting together your counties educational display at Wisconsin State Fair
  • Talking to the judge about your animal in the ring
  • Giving oral reasons to the judge at Area Animal Science Days, State Judging contest or other judging contests

Get Involved in Citizenship and Service

  • Complete a dairy presentation during June, June Dairy Month
  • Volunteer at a dairy promotional event, either during or not June Dairy Month
    • Your County’s Breakfast on the Farm
  • Start a dairy bowl or dairy judging team with the help of an adult volunteer
  • Before county far, lead a Showing and Fitting Workshop with different topics such as…
    • How to put up a topline, How to fit your own animal, How to get your animal showring ready, How to properly fill your animal
  • Work and Mentor a younger youth in the dairy project and teach them the ins and outs of the project
  • Become Herdsmen for your county at state fair
  • Advocate for the dairy industry

Learn about Leadership

  • Lead other 4-H members in participating in local dairy producer events
  • Arrange a dairy farm tour at your farm or another farm in the area
  • Work with your animal and create a bond with them
  • Become involved in state and local breed associations, and hold different leadership positions

Showing What You’ve Learned

  • Participate in the 4-H dairy show at your county fair or the Wisconsin State Fair
  • Create a dairy show kit (show box)
  • Consider an exhibit, notebook, scrapbook or display on what you’ve learned in a dairy-related topic
  • Nutritive value of cows milk
  • Feeding rations
  • Preventative vaccinations
  • Photos of different dairy breeds
  • Daily routine in caring for your animals
  • Grooming techniques
  • Developing a foundation for a dairy herd
  • Best care of newborns
  • Dairy by-products
  • Impact of local foods on local economy
  • Display of feeds or ration contents and analysis
  • Joining a dairy bowl or judging team
  • Taking on leadership roles within the dairy project or breed associations
  • Video on fitting a dairy calf/cow
  • Filling out the James W. Crowley Dairy Leadership Award
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