Market Animal Projects

Market Animal Projects – Beef, Sheep, Swine, Meat Goats, Rabbits, and Poultry

Congratulations on selecting one of the most challenging 4-H/FFA projects.  Doing an outstanding job of caring for any form of livestock requires a great deal of determination and commitment.  Yet, the rewards are great for those who can successfully piece together the skills of breeding, selection, feeding, and management.

This handbook has been prepared to help you better understand the Calumet County Market Animal Program.  Please take time to carefully read through it and refer back to it as questions arise.  Additional Market Animal Sale Rules are located in the fair handbook.  Don’t hesitate to contact a Calumet County Market Animal Committee member or the UWEX Office (920-849-1450) if you have unanswered questions.

Calumet County Market Animal Sale Committee

Bob Kesler, President
Jay Juckem, Vice President
Janice Thiel, Secretary
Nathan Hacker, Treasurer
Gary Mertz, Director
vacant, Director

Market Animal Forms and Information:

Important Dates:

2018 Market Animal Educational Meetings:

Upcoming market animal educational meetings include the following:

February 24:  Honor Show Chow Seminar, Sheboygan – program and registration information  (Market Animal Participation Verification Form will be needed if attending this clinic)

February 26:  Rabbit & Poultry Educational Meeting, 7:00 pm, Courthouse, Room #017 – All rabbit and poultry members are encouraged to attend these educational meetings.

March 15:  Meat Animal Carcass Evaluation, 6:30 pm, Courthouse, Room #025.
Gary Onan, the person who scans your animals at the fair, will be in Chilton to help you understand what the scanner measures and why it is important.  He will be covering the basics of traditional carcass evaluation as done in a meat cooler.  He will then relate that to the use of ultrasound measurements on live animals and how we can use those to accomplish the same result as the cooler show. There will be some hands-on activities with meat cuts during the presentation. Then, he’ll finish up by looking at our county’s carcass data from 2017 and explaining what all the numbers mean and why animals ranked the way they did.

March 21 or March 26: MANDATORY Youth for the Quality Care of Animals, 6:30-8:00 pm, Courthouse, Chilton
Register online at Use your $3.00 coupon code (available in your market animal mailing or from Connie at the UWEX Office) to pay for the in-person training.

April 23:  Rabbit & Poultry Project Meeting, 7:00 pm, Courthouse, Room #025

April 28:  Sheep project meeting, 10:00-12:00 noon, Broehm Farm, Brillion

May 6:  Brown County Fitting and Showing Workshop, 12:15-4:00 pm, Brown County Fairgrounds (Dairy Barn)  Event Program

May 10: Swine project meeting, 6:30 pm, Fairgrounds

May 12:  Nasco Showing and Grooming Demonstration, Fort Atkinson (Nasco Clinic details)


Pre-Fair Weigh in Dates for 2018

  • Lambs and Meat Goats:  Saturday, May 12, 8:00-9:00 am, Fairgrounds, Chilton
    Maximum Weights:  no weight limits for Lambs and Goats
  • SwineSwine Identification Information due May 18
  • Beef:  Saturday, December 8, 2018, 10:00-11:30 am, (location to be determined)

Calumet County Fair Entry Deadline:
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Weigh-In Times for Calumet County Fair, Thursday, August 30, 2018

  • Beef – 1:00 pm
  • Hogs – 3:30-5:00 pm
  • Market Rabbit and Poultry – 4:00-6:00 pm
  • Meat Goats and Lambs – 5:00 pm (or when hogs are finished)
    No animals are allowed in the barn pens prior to being weighed in.

 Show Times for 2018 Calumet County Fair

Friday, August 31, 2018

    • 8:30 am – Hogs
    • 12:00 noon – Sheep (Market Goats follows market sheep classes)
    •  2:30 pm – Beef
    • 12:00 pm – Poultry (starting with Open Class and followed by Junior Class Showmanship at approximately 3:00 pm)

Saturday, September 1, 2018

    • 9:00 am – Rabbits
    • 3:00 pm (immediately following the dairy show) – Dairy Goats and Goat Showmanship



All members wishing to sell an animal in the Market Animal Sale at the Calumet County Fair are expected to attend at least three county-wide educational meetings, and be a member in good standing in their club.  Youth who do not attend three meetings will have $50.00 deducted from their settlement checks after the fair.  Youth who do not attend at least two meetings will not be allowed to sell an animal in the Market Animal Sale at the Fair.

These meetings are established by a committee in early winter and a complete list of meetings is mailed to each member in late February or early March.  In addition, meetings are publicized in the 4-H Newsletter and on this page (above).

In addition, attendance at an educational event sponsored for youth such as FFA events, show camps, showing at district, state, or national shows, etc., qualify to replace a “county-sponsored” event (attending a county market animal sale or a “dairy-related meeting”  will not qualify as a market animal educational meeting).  Members may not use more than two of these types of meetings to substitute for attendance at the regular county-organized meetings.  It is each individual’s responsibility to present proof of attendance or participation in an “out-of-county” event to the Market Animal Sale Committee prior to the fair using the Market Animal Participation Verification Form.  Youth may not count more than one meeting that does not relate to the species they are exhibiting at the fair.

Animals Raised at Exhibitor’s Home

Youth livestock project members are expected to feed and care for their project animals.  Every project member must file an “Exhibitor Information Form” that outlines the arrangements under which animals are housed and cared for.  These forms must be mailed to the county 4-H Office by March 30 for Beef; April 20 for Swine, Sheep, and Goats; and June 1 for Rabbits and Poultry.

Country of Origin Labeling Affidavit/Declaration

The COOL (Country of Origin Labeling) final rule for commodities took effect on March 16, 2009.  This USDA rule provides consumers with knowledge as to where their food originated.  Exhibitors need to make sure they collect documentation from the seller when purchasing lambs, goats, or market poultry.  This form must be turned in to the Extension Office prior to the Spring Weigh In or the Market Animal Committee at the Spring Weigh In.

Parent Expectations

It is expected that parents will not only be involved in working with their children in the care and feeding of their animals, but will also assist with the County Market Animal programs as needed and requested.  Particularly at Fair time, help is needed with weigh-ins, setting up and taking down show rings, and generally assisting with moving animals back and forth from pens to show ring.

Spring Weigh In

Market animals are weighed in several months before the Fair.  Beef weigh in is normally conducted the second Saturday in December.  Swine, lambs, and market goats have their weigh in in mid May at the Fairgrounds in Chilton.  These dates are publicized in the 4-H newsletter and on the 4-H google calendar.  Each individual is allowed to weigh in up to three animals of each species; however, animals may be identified jointly within a family.  For example, John Jones and Sarah Jones may weigh in five steers between them and each individual could show any one of the steers.  At the Fair weigh in, each individual selects his or her animal to be shown and/or sold.  Their name will be assigned to the specific animal they choose.

Spring weigh in restrictions for lambs and market goats:  none; Swine have a maximum weight of 60 pounds.
There is no spring weigh in for rabbits and poultry.

Drug History Sheets

All exhibitors wishing to sell an animal in the Market Animal Sale must have completed and turned in a Drug History Sheet to the Sale Committee at the County Fair prior to the animal being weighed on Thursday of the Fair.  These forms will be furnished to each exhibitor.  Parents or guardians must also sign the drug history sheet.

Financial Records

All exhibitors who have sold an animal in the Market Animal Sale must complete and turn in a Market Animal Financial Record by 12:00 noon on Monday of the Fair. A collection box will be placed in the Fair Secretary’s Office. This will give market animal participants the opportunity to have an accurate listing of their income, expenses, and net profit/loss. Sale checks will not be issued until this form has been completed and turned in. These forms are made available at the beginning of the project year.


Making Entries for the Fair

Entry information is available on-line at beginning in mid-May.  Carefully read all of the rules that pertain to market animals.  Pay special attention to minimum weigh-in weights at the fair.  The entry deadline for County Fair is July 31.  Entries should be made very carefully since changes will not be allowed after the entry deadline.  Please take note of the following:

  1. Exhibitors must enter and participate in the showmanship classes to receive premium money for those classes.
  2. Each exhibitor should enter the market class as well as the carcass class for beef, sheep, swine, and market goats.

Soliciting Buyers

It is the responsibility of each project member to invite a number of potential buyers to attend the sale.  The invitation can be extended either through a letter or a personal visit.

If the individual or business has not previously been involved in the sale, it will probably be very helpful to make a personal visit and use the Market Animal Sale Brochure (available from the UWEX Office) explaining how the sale works.  Buyers are usually most concerned about how much it will cost them to participate and what they can do with the animal(s) they purchase after the sale.

A buyer may arrange an absentee purchase through the UW-Extension Office using the Absentee Bidders Form.

Pen Set Up

All members are expected to assist with pen set up in the beef barn and the hog and sheep barn on a designated night prior to the fair.  This date will be publicized in the 4-H newsletter.  Poultry and rabbit pen set up will be the Saturday of face-to-face judging (the Saturday before the Fair).

Decorations and Barn Awards

Exhibitors are encouraged to decorate their livestock exhibit.  Display panels have been prepared to make it easier to put up decorations.  The panels are approximately 24″ x 72″ per pen in the sheep and hog barn, and 24” x 48” per stall in the beef barn.  Decorations may be stapled or tacked to these wood panels.  All staples and tacks must be removed when the decorations are taken down.

Barn awards are presented to the clubs in each of the species (sheep, beef, hogs, rabbit, goats, and poultry) that do the best job of decorating, keeping their exhibit area neat and clean, and behaving in an appropriate manner during the Fair.  Additional details are available in the fair handbook.

Market Animal Sale

The Market Animal Sale is held on Sunday of the Fair beginning at 12:00 noon.  The sale requires a lot of workers to run smoothly.  Parents and youth are expected to be available by 10:00 am that morning to assist with preparations for the sale and receive assignments for helping out with the sale itself.  Simply make one of the Market Animal Sale Committee members aware that you are available and willing to help.

A commission is deducted from the proceeds of each animal sold.  The disposition of these proceeds is at the discretion of the Market Animal Committee.

Rate of Gain

After weigh-in at the Fair, a daily rate of gain is calculated for each beef, sheep, and sheep designated to be sold in the Market Animal Sale.  Awards are made to the fastest gaining animal in each species.

After the Sale

The Market Animal Sale Committee makes arrangements to have all the animals purchased in the sale either delivered to a local meat market for processing or resold through a commercial market.  Buyers indicate how they want their animals handled at the time they purchase the animal.  Be sure to thank buyers and bidders in person and in writing after the sale.  Be sure to write the name of the buyer and sale price on your exhibitor card immediately after the sale.  Exhibitors are required to feed, water, and care for the animal they sold until it is loaded out Monday evening.

Pen Take Down

Monday night  of the  Fair, animals may not leave until 5:30 pm.  Decorations cannot be taken down until 5:30 pm.  All members are expected to assist with pen/cage take down in all of the barns.

Carcass Contest

All market beef, sheep, and swine entered in the Fair will be scanned using ultrasound for loin eye size and backfat thickness.  This information will be used in place of actual carcass measurements to determine carcass class placings.

Post-Fair Meeting

A meeting for all Market Animal exhibitors and their parents is held the third Tuesday in September at the Calumet County Courthouse beginning at 7:00 pm.  The purpose of the meeting is to evaluate the market animal program and suggest any rule changes the group finds appropriate.

If members or their parents have any complaints or suggestions for changes to improve the Market Animal program, this is the meeting at which they should be aired.

Market Animal Sale Committee

The Market Animal Sale Committee is comprised of six individuals (representing all species).  These committee members are elected at the annual post-fair evaluation meeting (held at 7:00 pm on the third Tuesday in September at the Courthouse in Chilton).  The committee has the responsibility of coordinating the entire Market Animal program.  This involves arranging and overseeing the education meetings, weigh ins, making arrangements relating to the building and pens at the fair, making arrangements for the sale, disposition of animals after the sale, and a host of other details.

The committee also interprets and enforces the rules that pertain to the Market Animal Program in Calumet County.

Exhibitor Integrity

Integrity is a key part of the market animal project. The strong support that the Calumet County agricultural business community has shown for the project over the years would quickly be jeopardized if exhibitors or their parents resort to unethical or even questionable practices. Misuse of feed additives, not following withholding requirements with antibiotics, falsifying animal IDs, animal abuse, etc., have no place in the market animal project.

Perhaps the most important element of integrity relating to market animal projects is simply doing a good job of caring for your animal each and every day. Making sure your animal is comfortable, healthy, and well-fed is crucial, not only from an ethical standpoint, but goes a long way to insuring success in the show ring as well!