4-H Judging Specific Contest Rules
4-H Judging Contest General Rules
(applies for all judging contests)
PRE-REGISTRATION IS NECESSARY FOR ALL JUDGING CONTESTS. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PARTICIPATING IN STATE 4-H LIVESTOCK, MEATS, DAIRY OR POULTRY JUDGING CONTESTS, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL EXTENSION OFFICE.
While a contest is in progress, a contestant shall not communicate with others, except as directed by the Superintendent of the contest. Participants will be informed of regulations at the beginning of each contest.
No hats, caps or other types of headgear are to be worn and no county or club identification is permitted. If PASE T-shirts are available, contestants are encouraged, but not required, to wear these during contest competition.
- 4-H members are eligible to participate in judging, skill and identification contests regardless of project enrollment.
- All participants in judging, skill and identification contests must be 12 years of age by January 1 of the current year.
- Contestants must be pre-registered.
- To represent Nebraska at a regional or national 4-H contest, all members of the team entered in the qualifying state contest (including the alternate on a four member team) must have reached their 14th birthday and not passed their 19th birthday by January 1 of the current year and all (including the alternate) must meet the requirements of the regional or national contest in which they participate.
- Verification of eligibility is based on information provided by county extension staff.
- The final year of eligibility for all contests at PASE is the final year of 4-H membership, regardless of year in school. 4-H members who have competed with a collegiate judging team or those that have completed college-level courses specific to the contest subject matter are ineligible to compete in PASE contests. (Examples include completion of a college-level introductory animal science course would eliminate eligibility for the livestock quiz bowl or completion of a livestock judging class or participation with a community college livestock judging team would eliminate eligibility for the livestock judging contest).
4-H'ers become ineligible to compete on a team if they have represented Nebraska in the designated National 4-H contest. Designated National 4-H contests are:
- Livestock Judging - National 4-H Contest in Louisville, KY
- Meats Judging - National 4-H Contest (Location TBA)
- Poultry Judging - National 4-H Contest in Louisville, KY
- Dairy Judging - National 4-H Contest in Madison, WI
- Quiz Bowl - National 4-H Invitational Livestock Quiz Bowl in Omaha, NE
- Skill-a-thon - National 4-H Livestock Skill-a-thon Contest at Louisville, KY
- Individuals that are selected and compete in a national contest based on their individual placing in the state level contest (rather than county team placing) are eligible to return to the state contest and judge on a county team.
- 4-H'ers who have competed in a national or regional level contest that is not the designated contest are eligible to compete for team and individual honors.
- High point individuals may return to state competition and compete again for individual and/or team honors.
Judging Team Entries
In Meats, Poultry and Livestock Judging, teams shall consist of 3-4 members. Teams may be entered by a single county or extension unit name. Each county may enter up to 2 teams per judging contest and division (intermediate & senior). If a county does not have enough youth to complete a team, there are two options. Team members may be added from an adjacent county to complete a team OR the youth may enter to compete as individuals. All counties associated with a multi-county team must have representation during the actual contest. If all counties are not represented, the team will be dissolved and remaining members entered as individuals representing their home county. Multi-county teams are considered to be affiliated with those particular counties and will count against the maximum number of teams that may be entered by any given county.
NO county/unit teams should solicit team members without the knowledge and support of extension staff of counties/units from which other team members are recruited. Any one county may enter up to 2 teams and 10 additional individuals for a maximum participation in each
contest and division of 18 youth.
4-H members participating in judging contests will be recognized as follows:
All judging contests:
Medals: Gold (1st), Silver (2nd), and Bronze (3rd)
Gift Cards: 1st through 5th high overall individuals
Placing ribbons: 1st through 10th high overall individuals
Ribbons for each member of the five highest point teams.
For Meats and Poultry, team and individual placings will be announced on Monday following the evening meal. Livestock contest placings will be announced on Tuesday afternoon, following the contest and discussion of official placings (provided tabulation is completed). All youth and visitors are encouraged to stay for awards announcements.
** Please refer to the Nebraska 4-H Policy Handbook for more information regarding eligibility for competition at a national 4-H competition.
The top two Senior Livestock judging teams qualify to represent Nebraska at a national-level judging contest.
- The highest ranking eligible team will participate at the National 4-H Livestock Judging contest at NAILE in Louisville, Kentucky.
- The second highest ranking eligible team will have their choice of attending the American Royal 4-H Livestock Judging Contest in Kansas City or the National Western Invitational Contest in Denver.
A county is eligible for only one trip per year that is supported financially through the 4-H Foundation. In the event a county qualifies for more than one trip, the next highest ranking eligible team will have the opportunity to participate in the American Royal 4-H Contest in Kansas City or the National Western Invitational Contest in Denver.
The top three Senior teams also are eligible to participate in the Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Judging Contest held in Omaha, Nebraska.
Meats for Consumers:
The highest ranking eligible team will participate at the National 4-H Meats Judging Contest.
The highest ranking eligible team will participate at the National 4-H Poultry Judging Contest in Louisville, Kentucky.
The highest ranking eligible team will participate at the World Dairy Exposition in Madison, Wisconsin. (See detailed Dairy Judging rules for further determination of national participants.) Dairy Judging is held annually at the Nebraska State Fair.
**In the event that a county declines a trip, the next highest ranking eligible team will be offered the trip. However, a team must rank no lower than 5th overall in the State contest to be offered a national trip.