Youth interested in caring for and exhibiting steers or beef heifers in the LaGrange County 4-H Beef and Dairy Beef Project are required to bring their animals to the Shipshewana Livestock Auction from 8-9 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, for the annual weigh-in and identification of these cattle.
To be shown at the LaGrange County 4-H Fair, beef steers, dairy steers, and crossbred heifers must be weighed and identified with a traditional five-digit plastic ear tag. Proof of registration for steers is required at weigh-in along with ear tagging. Registered breeding heifers do not have to be tagged, but registration papers need to be brought to the weigh-in for verification by 4-H Beef leaders.
To be shown at the 2013 Indiana State Fair, LaGrange County 4-H cattle will be identified with an electronic tag, also known as a Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID). For 2013, a new requirement for the state fair is that registered breed heifers will also be identified with an RFID tag along with the customary tattoo and breed registry documentation. RFID is a wireless technology used to track and identify an object via radiowave signals. In most cases, RFID tags or chips are either embedded into or attached to a target object such as market livestock. Radio frequency is presently the USDA’s recommended form of animal identification for security purposes. The LaGrange County 4-H Beef and Dairy Steer committees will arrange to insert electronic tags in state fair-declared cattle on March 2 along with the usual weigh in and placement of five-digit county plastic ear tags. There will be a small charge per head for RFID tags. Enrollment forms for the 2013 Indiana State Fair will be available at weigh-in and can be picked up now at the Purdue Extension office.
Current 4-H Beef or Dairy Beef members are encouraged to notify any prospective youth in grades three and up who have yet to formally enroll in the 4-H program. These youth are also subject to the mandatory identification and enrollment procedure for cattle to ensure that their animals are properly documented and confirmed by 4-H officials. In the event of inclement weather on March 2, 4-H’ers are advised to tune in to radio station 105.5 FM. Youth who have enrolled in the 4-H Beef and Dairy Beef projects will be notified of an alternative date.
The LaGrange County 4-H Club Association is a not-for-profit organization charged with developing and overseeing family-oriented informal educational programs for youth in grades 1-12. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors and coordinated by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. Inquiries about the beef or dairy steer projects or 4-H in general can be made to the Purdue Extension office in LaGrange County at 499-6334 or to 4-H Superintendents Curtis Sherman at 463-6702 or Roy Howe at 499-1888.