2024 Fairfield County Junior Fair Premier Exhibitor Contest Information

The objective of the Premier Exhibitor Contest is to encourage youth exhibitors to explore multiple aspects of the livestock specie project they are enrolled in, and to reward those youth that participate at the highest level. While some exhibitors may choose to only participate in a single aspect of an animal project, the reality is that all the various opportunities available for any given project are interrelated and participation can enhance the knowledge, skills, and enjoyment gained from the project.

  • Exhibitors will learn that market animals originate from breeding stock.
  • Performance is vital to the profitability of livestock production.
  • Efficient record keeping allows the owner to determine if the project was profitable.
  • Livestock evaluation is the foundation for selecting both breeding and market livestock.
  • Knowing breeds, body parts and muscle names and locations complements one’s ability to evaluate livestock.

It’s all interrelated and encouraging youth to expand the knowledge of their project by participating in a variety of opportunities while also in a competitive environment will enhance the learning experience.

Requirements

  • Exhibitors must be enrolled in a 4-H/FFA project in that species in their respective 4-H Club/FFA Chapter.
  • FairEntry is made in the respective species by August FairEntry deadline.
  • The exhibitor must complete the Fairfield County Skillathon for the specie they plan to compete in Premier Exhibitor. Those exhibitors who participate in the alternative Skillathon options will not be eligible for Premier Exhibitor (i.e., Ohio State Fair VIRTUAL Skillathon, Ohio State Fair IN-PERSON Skillathon, and/or Fairfield County Make-Up Skillathon). Project books will be reviewed as part of the county Skillathon event.
  • An exhibitor must complete a Skillathon for each specie they plan to compete for Premier Exhibitor. If an exhibitor does not participate in the Fairfield County Skillathon for that specie, they will be ineligible for Premier Exhibitor in that specie.
  • Exhibitors must show their own animal(s).

Eligible Species

  • Dairy Cattle
  • Beef
  • Swine
  • Sheep
  • Dairy Goats
  • Meat/Market Goats
  • Pygmy Goats
  • Poultry
  • Rabbits
  • Dogs
  • Alpacas/Llamas
  • Horses

Scoring

The Premier Exhibitor for each species will be the exhibitor with the highest point total from the activities listed for each specie (dropping the scores as mentioned below).

The goal is to encourage exhibitors to explore various opportunities available to them within their species and allow for lowest scores to be dropped when sufficient experiences are able to be offered (for example, Beef Exhibitors have far more project opportunities available to them than Pygmy Goats). The objective would be to encourage exhibitors to earn points for exhibiting animals in at least two ways at the Fairfield County Fair in addition to participating in Skillathon, showmanship, rate of gain (if applicable), and judging contests (if applicable). If exhibiting more than one animal in an activity, the highest placing animal will be used for the Premier Exhibitor scoring.

  • Dairy Cattle: The Dairy Cattle Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from up to 6 of the 7 following Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Dairy Skillathon*, Showmanship, Fairfield County Dairy Judging Contest, and Breeding Class, Market Class, Feeder Class, and Rate of Gain.
  • Beef: The Beef Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from up to 5 of the 8 Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Beef Skillathon*, Showmanship, Fairfield County Beef Judging Contest, Breeding Class, Feeder Class, Market Class, Carcass Class, and Rate of Gain.
  • Swine: The Swine Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from up to 4 of the 5 Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Swine Skillathon*, Showmanship, Fairfield County Swine Judging Contest, Market/MQP Class 1, and Market/MQP Class 2.
  • Sheep: The Sheep Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from 5 of the 6 Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Sheep Skillathon*, Showmanship, Fairfield County Sheep Judging Contest, Breeding Class, Market/MQP Class 1, and Market/MQP Class 2.
  • Dairy Goats: The Dairy Goat Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from all 4 Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Dairy Goat Skillathon*, Showmanship, Breeding (Kid/Yearling Class), and Breeding (Doe Class).
  • Meat/Market Goats: The Meat/Market Goat Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from 5 of the 6Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Meat/Market Goat Skillathon*, Showmanship, Fairfield County Meat Goat Judging Contest, Breeding (Meat Doe) Class, Market/MQP Class 1, and Market/MQP Class 2.
  • Pygmy Goats: The Pygmy Goat Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from all 4 Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Pygmy Goat Skillathon*, Showmanship, Wether Class, and Doe Class.
  • Poultry: The Poultry Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from 4 of the 5 Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Poultry Skillathon*, Showmanship, Breeding Class, Layers Class, and Market Class.
  • Rabbits: The Rabbit Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from all 4 of the 6 Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Rabbit Skillathon*, Showmanship, Breeding Class 1, Breeding Class 2, Market Class 1, Market Class 2.
  • Dogs: The Dog Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from up to 4 of the 5 Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Dog Skillathon*, You & Your Dog Interview, Showmanship, Obedience Class, and Agility.
  • Alpacas/Llamas: The Alpaca & Llama Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from up to 4 of the 5 following Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Alpaca/Llama Skillathon*, Showmanship, Public Relations Class, Costume Class, and Obstacle/Agility Class
  • Horses: The Horse Premier Exhibitor will be the highest point total from up to 4 of the 5 following Fairfield County Junior Fair activities: Horse Skillathon*, Showmanship, Pleasure Class, Pattern Class, and Contesting Class.

The *Fairfield County Skillathon will be a mandatory activity for participation in the respective species’ Premier Exhibitor Contest. A Skillathon is an activity to test knowledge of specific subject matter in a hands-on experiential learning model. Skillathons will take place on the assigned day and times in September, and this will be the only opportunity for participants to complete the Skillathon for their respective species and be eligible to participate in the respective Premier Exhibitor Contest. Exhibitors will earn corresponding Premier Exhibitor points based off of their raw score (out of 100 points). Skillathons will be comprised of four stations. A completed project book is required at Skillathon.

The Fairfield County Livestock Judging Contest will take place on Sunday of the Fairfield County Fair for swine, beef, sheep, and goats. Exhibitors will earn corresponding Livestock Judging Contest points based off of their raw score. Total points possible will be determined on the day of the contest. The Fairfield County Dairy Judging Contest will take place on Monday of the Fairfield County Fair for dairy cattle.

Rate of Gain will be available to all market beef, dairy steer, and dairy feeder exhibitors.

Breeding/Market/Showmanship/Rate of Gain class/heat points will be assigned according to class rankings (placing 1st through 5th, followed by participation points).

Livestock Sale: If the Premier Exhibitor has a market animal in that respective species, they will sell third in the market sale for that species following the Overall Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Market Animals. If an exhibitor chooses to take home and earns Premier Exhibitor, they will lose their sale slot. (In that case second place Premier Exhibitor will not move into that sale slot).

Ties: Exhibitors will complete a tiebreaker station at Skillathon for their respective specie. Scoring from the tiebreaker station will only be used to help break ties for the overall rankings of each specie’s Premier Exhibitor.

Awards will be given for 1st place winner of each age group (Age 8/9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18), from which, overall 1st through 3rd place winners will be chosen for the Premier Exhibitor Program for each specie.

  • 1st Place Awards for each age group (Age 8/9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) will receive a rosette and coupon to be used at the fair for a free sandwich at the Fairfield County Cattlemen’s Food Booth.
  • 1st Place Award Overall for each specie will receive a vinyl banner and $100 cash award.
  • 2nd Place Award Overall for each specie will receive a vinyl banner and $75 cash award.
  • 3rd Place Award Overall for each specie will receive a vinyl banner and $50 cash award.

As printed in the 2024 Fairfield County Junior Fair Book.

Fairfield County Jr. Fair Beef Breeding Possession Date & Identification

For all those Junior Fair Youth with Beef Breeding Project please be aware of the  possession date.

* Beef Breeding possession is July 1st . All beef breeding animals exhibited must have been completely and full owned and in the complete possession and continual care of the exhibitor on and after the designated date.

* Registered Beef Breeding Identification: All registered breeding beef will submit the following by July 15th to OSU Extension Office: EID 840 Tag and/or Tattoo Number as well as DNA hair sample for each animal.

* If an animal currently has an EID 840 tag in place, this tag will be used as the official fair identification.

* Registration Number is required at the time of fair entry and by August 23rd , 2024 (FairEntry Deadline).

* If breed registration is not completed by fair entry deadline, the animal will show as a crossbred.

* Crossbred Beef Breeding Identification: All crossbred breeding beef will submit the following by July 15th to OSU Extension Office: EID 840 Tag as well as DNA hair sample for each animal.

* If an animal currently has an EID 840 tag in place, this tag will be used as the official fair identification.

* If needed, crossbred heifer exhibitors will be able to pick-up 840 EID tags from OSU Extension (which are provided by the Senior Fair).

Youth Opportunity: Livestock Judging Webinars on Oral Reasons – July 8th and 10th

The Ohio 4-H Animal Science Design Team Livestock Evaluation webinar series are continuing, and our seventh and eighth sessions are on Oral Reasons! These series are being recorded so that if someone is not able to attend, they can review it later.

DATE: Monthly TBD

TIME: 7:00–8:00 p.m.

LOCATION: ZOOM – go.osu.edu/livestockevaluation

  • January 24 – Let’s Start a Team
  • February 19 – Beef 101
  • March 18 – Swine 101
  • April 15 – Sheep 101
  • May 20 – Goats 101
  • June 17 – EPDs & Scenarios
  • July 8 – Reasons, Part 1
  • July 10 – Reasons, Part 2

All Recordings can be found along with other additional resources: https://ohio4h.org/node/3429

Livestock Exhibitors: Quality Assurance MUST be completed by June 30th to show at fair, no exceptions!

Quality Assurance is an annual requirement of the Ohio Department of Agriculture for youth taking livestock projects to county and state fair. In Fairfield County, Quality Assurance Training is required for all members who will be exhibiting a livestock project at the Fairfield County Fair or Junior Exhibitor at the Ohio State Fair. Beef (Breeding & Market); Dairy Breeding, Dairy Steers, & Dairy Feeders; Goats (Dairy, Meat, Market & Pygmy); Poultry (Breeding & Market); Sheep (Breeding & Market); Swine; Rabbits (Breeding & Market), and Alpacas/Llamas.

Deadlines for 2024:

  • Youth planning to exhibit at the Ohio State Fair must have their Quality Assurance completed by June 1st, 2024.
  • Youth planning to exhibit at the Fairfield County Fair must have their Quality Assurance completed by June 30, 2024.

Email reminders have been sent to advisors over the last month for those who have yet to complete this requirement. Also, families are receiving final email reminders today (June 28th).

All Quality Assurance information has been shared with club/chapter advisors and has been posted on the blog since April 25th. Read all Quality Assurance options for 2024 here.

Youth Opportunity: Ohio State Fair Livestock Judging Contest – REGISTER BY JULY 8TH

All 4-H members are encouraged to participate in the 2024 Ohio State Fair Livestock Judging Contest on July 25th at the Ohio Expo Center.

  • Check-In: 8:30 am – 9:30 am – Voinovich Livestock Center Show Arena
  • Contest Instructions: 10:00 am – Voinovich Livestock Center Show Arena
  • Judging Begins: 10:30 am – Denny Hales Arena
  • Awards Presentation – Following Contest Critiques in Voinovich

Pre-Registration is required by July 8th and must have a county 4-H Educator’s approval – please contact Leslie Cooksey if you wish to participate. The cost is $15 per member and if Fairfield County 4-H youth wish to participate in this contest, members will be reimbursed by the 4-H Advisory Committee. Click here for additional rules and contest information.

Scholarship Opportunity: Select Sires – Due June 10th

Select Sires Member Cooperative Announces Inaugural Scholarship Program

The Select Sires Member Cooperative (SSMC) Board of Directors wishes to recognize the efforts and aspirations of college students from member-owner families throughout our 27-state territory.  To achieve this goal, the board of directors has set aside $40,000 in scholarship funds that will be awarded to students currently enrolled in a two or four year academic program. Students who wish to be considered in our application process must apply by the June 10, 2024, application deadline using the following link https://bit.ly/ssmcscholarship . The announcement of scholarship winners will take place by the end of July.  Board Member Brad Lindhardt says “These are the opportunities we can create together to make a difference not only for the individual, but the cooperative and the industry.  This is why it is important to me to be a part of this growing cooperative.”

More Information & Application.

Source: Ohio Cattlemen’s Association electronic newsletter 5/12/2024

Beef Exhibitors: Ohio State Fair Crossbred Heifer DNA Requirements (DNA envelopes now available at OSUE)

For those beef exhibitors planning to show at the Ohio State Fair, please know that there is a new DNA hair sample requirement for crossbred heifers. Please review all Ohio State Fair rules here.

Ohio State Fair Junior Beef Rules:

  • Crossbred breeding heifers MUST be owned by June 1, and be born on or after January 1, 2023.
  • To be eligible to exhibit a crossbred heifer at the Ohio State Fair, a DNA sample must be filed. Envelopes MUST be complete and returned by June 1, 2024 and returned to the Livestock Department.
  • All crossbred heifers must have a USDA RFID tag (all tags must begin with the numbers 840).
  • DNA Envelopes can be requested via email at cooksey.25@osu.edu and picked up at the OSU Extension Office in Fairfield County. This is a different envelope than the Market Beef. A Market Beef envelope will not be accepted for a crossbred heifer.
  • Any animal arriving at the Ohio State Fair with DNA not submitted will not be eligible to show. This does not constitute as an official entry, you still must enter online at ohiostatefair.com by June 21 at 1 p.m.

Attention Livestock Exhibitors: Quality Assurance Requirements

Quality Assurance is an annual requirement of the Ohio Department of Agriculture for youth taking livestock projects to county and state fair. In Fairfield County, Quality Assurance Training is required for all members who will be exhibiting a livestock project at the Fairfield County Fair or Junior Exhibitor at the Ohio State Fair. Beef (Breeding & Market); Dairy Breeding, Dairy Steers, & Dairy Feeders; Goats (Dairy, Meat, Market & Pygmy); Poultry (Breeding & Market); Sheep (Breeding & Market); Swine; Rabbits (Breeding & Market), and Alpacas/Llamas.

Deadlines for 2024:

  • Youth planning to exhibit at the Ohio State Fair must have their Quality Assurance completed by June 1st, 2024.
  • Youth planning to exhibit at the Fairfield County Fair must have their Quality Assurance completed by June 30, 2024.

At this time, Quality Assurance CANNOT be taught by club/chapter advisors to Fairfield County 4-H/FFA youth virtually (i.e. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Google Classrooms, Facebook Live, etc.).

Here are the acceptable options to complete Quality Assurance in 2024:

  • In-Person 4-H Club/FFA Chapter Clinic taught by a 4-H/FFA Advisor who has completed the Quality Assurance Assistant Instructor Training this year. Advisors who attended this training will notify their members of their club/chapter QA Clinic date and will be responsible for getting all QA paperwork submitted to the Extension Office by the appropriate deadlines.
  • In-Person Countywide Make-Up Clinics: To be held on Thursday, May 2nd from 6:30-8:30 p.m. or Saturday, May 18th from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at the Fairfield County Ag Center/Extension Office (831 College Ave. Lancaster). An RSVP is required. Please click here to register for a countywide QA makeup clinic.
  • In-Person Beef Quality Assurance: Members who complete an in-person BQA taught by a certified BQA instructor must submit documentation to Leslie Cooksey at cooksey.25@osu.edu.
  • In-Person Pork Quality Assurance: Members who complete an in-person PQA taught by a certified PQA advisor must submit documentation to Leslie Cooksey at cooksey.25@osu.eduYouth MUST be age 14 or older (current age) to complete in-person PQA. Youth will receive a PQA certification number from the National Pork Board upon completion.
  • Online: Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA). This is the ONLY approved ONLINE Quality Assurance Program for youth in Ohio. For 2024, this web-based course has been approved by ODA for 8-18 year olds.
    • Go to  https://yqcaprogram.org/ for the training and quiz.
    • Instructions for using the new website can be found at: 2022 YQCA Website Instructions
    • Exhibitors must complete by June 30, 2024 or they will not be able to show at the Fairfield County Fair.
    • You will need to select the web-based training ($12.00 per member, annually). The age of the course should be age as of January 1st of the current year.
    • When you are finished, please send a pdf/picture of your certificate which includes exhibitor name(s) and certificate number(s) to Leslie Cooksey at cooksey.25@osu.edu.

Quality Assurance should be completed for Ohio State Fair exhibitors by June 1st

Fairfield County 4-H and FFA youth planning to exhibit at the Ohio State Fair must have their Quality Assurance completed by June 1st, 2024 to meet the 45 days prior to the Ohio State Fair exhibition (as required by the Ohio Department of Agriculture). Youth who do not meet this requirement, will have any entries denied.

If youth still need to complete Quality Assurance to meet this requirement and your club/chapter is not planning to host their own QA Clinic by June 1st, we recommend you complete QA through the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals online modules or attend the countywide makeup QA Trainings on May 2nd or May 18th.

  • In-Person Countywide Make-Up Clinics: To be held on Thursday, May 2nd from 6:30-8:30 p.m. or Saturday, May 18th from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at the Fairfield County Ag Center/Extension Office (831 College Ave. Lancaster). An RSVP is required. Please click here to register for a countywide QA makeup clinic.
  • Online: Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA). This is the ONLY approved ONLINE Quality Assurance Program for youth in Ohio. For 2024, this web-based course has been approved by ODA for 8-18 year olds.
    • Go to  https://yqcaprogram.org/ for the training and quiz.
    • Instructions for using the new website can be found at: 2022 YQCA Website Instructions
    • Exhibitors must complete by June 30, 2024 or they will not be able to show at the Fairfield County Fair.
    • You will need to select the web-based training ($12.00 per member, annually). The age of the course should be age as of January 1st of the current year.
    • When you are finished, please send name(s) and certificate number(s) to Leslie Cooksey at cooksey.25@osu.edu.

Older Youth Opportunity: Beef Field Day

An older youth beef field day will be held on June 15th at the OSU ATI Beef Center in Apple Creek.

For youth 14 and older, this will be a unique opportunity to learn about the beef industry. We will have a hands-on day walking youth through the beef production cycle focusing on cow-calf management. Parents are welcome, as we have a tour scheduled in the morning of the ATI and CFAES Wooster campus with admissions staff.

For registration visit: go.osu.edu/2024youthbeefday

Registration Deadline – June 7, 2024

Cost: Youth $30, Parents $15. Lunch Included.

Limited to first 30 Youth Registrations.

Youth Beef Day Flyer 2024