Can’t find a piece of paper in the barn? Keep forgetting to write down animal weights? Wondering if your 4-H animal project is even close to the breakeven? Wonder no more! Keeping accurate records on animal projects is now easier than ever before and helps 4-H members to build life skills.
According to Michigan State University Extension, your first question may be how do I convince youth to keep records? Easy – it’s an app! Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Tractor Supply Company,National 4-H Council created an easy, flexible way to keep all 4-H market livestock records together in one place. Now there really is an app for that! Not quite as tech savvy as you would like? Learn moreabout how you can organize market livestock project information on your iPhone or iPad and send customized reports right to your email inbox by visiting iTunes.
Once youth have all their barn notes in an electronic form, now is the perfect time to really evaluate animal projects, tracking all the progress, expense, and work in an easy to use and turn-in record book. Ask yourself a few questions regarding the market project: Are your 4-H members keeping records on their market animal projects? Is your fair using a record book for market animal projects? Have you ever thought about adding record books in as an educational component into the market animal projects? Are you looking to update existing market animal resources?
If your answer was yes to any of those questions, it’s time to check out the newly revised Michigan 4-HAnimal Market Project Record Book! The App and updated record book are the perfect combination of technology and tradition to easily track a market project from selection the animal to selling it during the auction. The Michigan 4-H Animal Market Project Record Books are a tool developed by MSU Extension for county 4-H programs to help youth learn and document their understanding of livestock marketing concepts. The Michigan 4-H Animal Market Project Record Book has been developed for three levels:Beginner Book, Intermediate Book and Advanced Book. County fairs and local 4-H programs determine the ages assigned for each book and requirements for completion. The three books can be found online at the following locations:
The 4-H Market Animal projects provide youth an opportunity to gain life skills such as record keeping, communication and self-responsibility through raising, and selling a livestock animal. Market animal projects may include beef, feeder calves, goats, poultry, rabbits, sheep, swine or other animals raised with the intention of selling.
Many county 4-H programs partner with their local fair to provide youth involved in the market animal experience a venue to exhibit and sell their animals through locally organized auctions. The goal of MSUExtension staff that developed the new resource was that these record books can be utilized by counties to help 4-H members set goals, identify target markets and marketing strategies, improve and develop communication strategies as well as increase record keeping and determine breakeven price and profitability for market animal projects.
Keeping records does take a little bit of time, but pays off in the end so that youth can make production changes in the future that make sense. Even if your fair or show doesn’t require a record book, consider completing one each year for each animal species raised to help set and achieve goals while marking progress. The combination of the new Animal Marketing Project Book with the app makes keeping records even easier and more fun!