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 8, 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 2014 Indiana State Fair, LaGrange County 4-H cattle will be identified with an electronic tag, also known as a Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID). Registered breed heifers will also be identified with an RFID tag along with the customary tattoo and breed registry documentation. RFID is wireless technology used to track and identify an object via radio wave 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 8 along with the usual weigh-in and placement of five-digit county plastic ear tags. There will be a $3 per head charge for RFID tags. Enrollment forms for the 2014 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. 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 Brian Gilliland at 463-6468 or Roy Howe at 499-1888.