4-H Companion Animal Challenge

The 4-H Companion Animal Challenge is held annually on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus. This year's event will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2019. The Companion Animal Challenge offers a vareity of 4-H companion animal contests that don't require live animals, including a Demonstration Contest, Dog Quiz Bowl, Skillathon Contest, Art Contest, and Photography Contest. Youth have the opportunity to display their companion animal knowledge through these contests both as individuals and as part of a team. There is a $5 entry fee per contestant. A Brown Bag Lunch is available through a pre-order form. T-shirts need to be pre-ordered in order to secure a shirt.

Resources

Demonstration Contest

Divisions

Youth may enter the contest as either an individual or as a member of a team.

  • Division A: individual presenter
  • Division B: team presenters

Age Divisions

  • Intermediate: 10-13 years of age as of January 1 of the current year
  • Senior: 14-18 years of age as of January 1 of the current year

Contestants & Eligibility

  1. Contestants must be enrolled in their county 4-H dog, cat, rabbit, or companion animal project.
  2. Participants may participate in all contests during the 4-H Companion Animal Challenge.
  3. Age: Intermediate contestants must be at least 10 years of age and under 14 years of age on January 1 of the current year. Senior contestants must be at least 14 years of age and under 19 years of age on January 1 of the current year.
  4. Teams: Counties may enter multiple teams. All team members must be from adjacent counties. A team consists of two members. All potential team members and alternates must be listed on the contest entry form. Entry forms must be returned by the contest deadline. No additional team members can be added the day of the contest. County staff/Coach will designate teams at the time of contest check-in.
  5. Dress CodeNebraska 4-H dog/companion animal show dress code is required. Exhibitors must follow dress code regulations as described in the Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Manual (4H420) and State Fair Companion Animal Show Rules with the following exceptions: An exhibitor may wear the event t-shirt, a non-county specific 4-H shirt, or a State Fair t-shirt. Shirts with specific county 4-H notations are not allowed to be worn in contests. Long jeans/pants are required. While hard soled shoes are not required, exhibitors are required to wear closed toed shoes with no-slip soles. No hats, caps, or other types of headgear are to be worn. Exhibitors shall not display local, county, commercial or other identification - except official 4-H and show ID tag. 4-H exhibitors will be judged on the neatness of their appearance. This includes but is not limited to: shirt tucked in, appropriate size of clothing, tied shoe laces, etc.
  6. Contestants must not have participated in official post-secondary (university, college, junior college, or technical school) competitive events of a similar nature in the same subject matter area. Neither can the contestant be a member of a post-secondary team undergoing training in preparation for an event.
  7. Contestants will be notified of their demonstration times one to two weeks prior to the contest. Demonstrators will be contacted directly by the contest superintendent.
  8. Many demonstrators in the Demonstration Contest have given demonstrations in other contests. This is fine; however previous demonstrations may not be used verbatim for the 4-H dog, cat, rabbit, and companion animal demonstration contest. It is okay to use the same ideas from a demonstration previously delivered in competition, but in must be 4-H dog, cat, rabbit, or companion animal related. Enough changes should be made to make the demonstration new to the demonstrator and the audience. 4-H demonstrators may not use an old demonstration written by a sibling, other 4-H member, or anyone else.

The Contest

  • Contestants will conduct a demonstration or illustrated presentation on a subject pertaining to the dog, cat, rabbit, and/or companion animal industry or be species related. The demonstration should be original, factual, and related to one of the following 4-H Strategic Plan Outcomes: 4-H Science, Agricultural Literacy, Career Development/College Readiness, Citizenship and Leadership, and Healthy Living. Live animals may not be used!
  • Contestants may use notes. However, excessive use of notes may be counted against the contestants. This will be at the discretion of the judge(s)
  • A public address system will not be used during the contest.
  • At the event, contestants may introduce themselves with name of county, brief background and topic.
  • Ten to fifteen minutes will be allowed for each demonstration with points subtracted for too little or excessive time. One point will be deducted from each judge's score card for each minute under ten minutes or over fifteen minutes.
  • Contestants will be provided one easel and one table. Other equipment needs must be arranged by the contestants and all audio visual aids used in the demonstration must be done solely by the contestants.
  • Contestants should cite their major references after the conclusion of their demonstration. This will not be counted in the allotted time.
  • Two or more judges will be used. Only the judges may ask questions of the contestants in the contest. Question time will not be counted in the allotted time. Contestants should repeat questions that are asked before they answer.

Scoring Criteria

Introduction: 5 points

  • Did the introduction create interest?
  • Was it concise?
  • Did it tell what the speech was about?

Topic: 5 points

  • Was this a worthwhile and practical topic?
  • Was the topic related to their project or activity?
  • Was the topic related to 4-H strategic plan topics?

Presentation: 20 points

  • Did the presenter speak in a natural voice and were their words distinct?
  • Was the speaker poised, confident, and friendly?
  • Was the speaker convincing and well organized?
  • Did the speaker exhibit originality?

Subject Matter: 20 points

  • Did the speaker emphasize the important points?
  • Was the information presented accurate, complete, and usable?
  • Was the speaker knowledgeable about the subject?

Workmanship: 20 points

  • Did the speaker exhibit skillful workmanship?
  • If this was a team demonstration did they work well together?
  • Did the speaker make good use of their time, materials, and equipment?
  • Was the work and speech well coordinated?
  • Was the work area neat, orderly, well organized, and easily viewed by audience?

Equipment: 10 points

  • Was the equipment suitable for the presentation?
  • Where the charts neat, pertinent, and interesting?

Conclusion: 10 points

  • Did the conclusion stress important points in summary?
  • Was the finished product exhibited (if appropriate)?
  • Was the closing definite?
  • Were any questions answered satisfactorily?

Dog Skillathon Contest  

Age Divisions

  • Intermediate: 10-13 years of age as of January 1 of the current year
  • Senior: 14-18 years of age as of January 1 of the current year

Contestants & Eligibility

  1. This is an individual contest only. No team are allowed.
  2. Contestants must be enrolled in their county 4-H dog, cat, rabbit, or companion animal project.
  3. Participants may participate in all contests during the 4-H Companion Animal Challenge
  4. Age: Intermediate contestants must be at least 10 years of age and under 14 years of age on January 1 of the current year. Senior contestants must be at least 14 years of age and under 19 years of age on January 1 of the current year.
  5. Dress Code: Nebraska 4-H dog/companion animal show dress code is required. Exhibitors must follow dress code regulations as described in the Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Manual (4H420) and State Fair Companion Animal Show Rules with the following exceptions: An exhibitor may wear the event t-shirt, a non-county specific 4-H shirt, or a State Fair t-shirt. Shirts with specific county 4-H notations are not allowed to be worn in contests. Long jeans/pants are required. While hard soled shoes are not required, exhibitors are required to wear closed toed shoes with no-slip soles. No hats, caps, or other types of headgear are to be worn. Exhibitors shall not display local, county, commercial or other identification - except official 4-H and show ID tag. 4-H exhibitors will be judged on the neatness of their appearance. This includes but is not limited to: shirt tucked in, appropriate size of clothing, tied shoe laces, etc.
  6. While a contest is in progress, contestants 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.

The Contest

  • The contest will consist of a series of stations that are designed to test a youth's knowledge of dogs.
  • Stations will include identification of breeds and equipment as well as hands on demonstration of youth's knowledge of handling and other dog related knowledge.
  • Focus breed groups:
    • 2017: Toy & Stock Found/Misc. (A-D)
    • 2018: Hound
    • 2019: Herding
    • 2020: Working
    • 2021: Terrier
    • 2022: Non-Sporting & Stock Found/Misc. (E-P)
    • 2023: Sporting & Stock Found/Misc. (R-W)
  • Stations will cover:
    • Breed identification pictures from the Focus Group (majority of focus)
    • Breed identification pictures from all other groups (a few)
    • Conformation
    • Dog Body Language
    • Behavior
    • Grooming
    • Parasites
    • Nutrition
    • Life Stages
    • Obedience
    • Agility
    • Equipment - collars, leashes, grooming, items for general care, etc.
    • Anatomy
    • Body Systems

Results

  • Results tabulated and submitted to the superintendent are final.

Awards

  • All participants will receive either a purple, blue, red, or white ribbon.
  • Champion and Reserve Champion will be awarded in each division.
  • 1st through 10th placing ribbons will be awarded in both intermediate and senior divisions.

Resources

  • 4-H Dog Manual (Intermediates: Manuals 1, 2; Seniors: Manuals 1, 2, 3)
  • American Kennel Club Breed Book
  • http://www.akc.org
  • PAWSitively Youth: A Guidebook about Dogs for Community Outreach Leaders, Cornell University 
  • General 4-H Dog Resources (Project Resource Central)

Essay Contest

Age Divisions

  • Intermediate: 10-13 years of age as of January 1 of current year
  • Senior: 14-18 years of age as of January 1 of current year

Categories

  • Persuasive - The essay should argue a point on a topic related to companion animal health, welfare, or a similar subject. The essay must take a definitive side on the argument. Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Declawing cats
    • Adopting vs. buying from a breeder
    • Controlling stray animal populations
  • Informative - The essay should explore a subject related to companion animal health, welfare, or a similar subject. At least four different sources should be cited in the essay. Example topics include but are not limited to:
    • Caring for senior cats
    • Behavior development of puppies
    • Use of dogs/cats for therapy
    • Benefit of fiber in guinea pig diets

Contestants & Eligibility

  1. Entrants do not need to be enrolled in the 4-H dog, cat, rabbit, or companion animal projects. However, participants must be an enrolled 4-H member.
  2. Participants may participate in all contests during the 4-H Companion Animal Challenge
  3. Only one entry per exhibitor per category permitted.
  4. All essays are to be original works of the exhibitor and relate to the dog, cat, rabbit, or companion animals. A statement of authenticity must be submitted with each essay.
  5. Essays must be between 500-750 words for junior and intermediate entries and 750-1000 words for senior entries.
  6. Essays must include the writer’s name, age, and county.
  7. Essays may be handwritten or typed. Typed essays are recommended, as illegible essays will not be judged.  Typed entries should be double spaced and in 12-point font.
  8. Essays, along with a statement of authenticity, must be either mailed to Lisa Karr at C204 Animal Science Building, Lincoln, NE 68583-0908 or emailed to lisa.karr@unl.com by March 8, 2019 at 5PM. Late entries will not be judged.
  9. Winners will be announced at the 4-H Companion Animal Challenge on March 30 in the Animal Science Building.

Scoring Criteria

  • Accuracy
  • Conciseness
  • Creativity
  • Logical development
  • Grammar

 

Art Contest

The objective of the Art Contest is to encourage youth to broaden their horizons and utilize creative talent within the dog, cat, rabbit, or companion animal projects. The contest is also designed to increase awareness of the dog, cat, rabbit, and companion animal projects through exhibition of drawing or forming art items.

Age Divisions

  • Junior: 8-9 years of age as of January 1 of current year
  • Intermediate: 10-13 years of age as of January 1 of current year
  • Senior: 14-18 years of age as of January 1 of current year

Contestants & Eligibility

  1. Entrants do not need to be enrolled in the 4-H dog, cat, rabbit, or companion animal projects. However, participants must be an enrolled 4-H member.
  2. Participants may participate in all contests during the 4-H Companion Animal Challenge
  3. Individuals may enter up to three exhibits. All exhibits are to be original works of the exhibitor and relate to the dog, cat, rabbit, or companion animals.
  4. Items may be framed or ready to be displayed on a table. Item size: minimum 9"X12" and maximum 18"X24". This indicates the finished matted size.
  5. Media may include: watercolor, oil and acrylic, pencil, chalk, charcoal, pen and ink, crayon or pastels. (no photos allowed) ***** Items may be made of: Wood, glass, metal, ceramic or tile, fabric, mixed media items, felted wool, cotton linter, batik, weaving, fabric dyed by exhibitor, clay, sculpted cardboard, plaster of paris, quilting, etc... Designs may also be influenced by another culture
  6. Art items may also be made from recycled items such as common objects or material combined in a creative way to depict companion animals.
  7. Presentation: All work must be matted with suitable matting board, with a maximum 3" border. Matting may be black, white or colored. No glass or frames allowed. Upright items must be able to be displayed on a table for judging and viewing.
  8. All items must include on the back: name, address, county and age as of January 1 of the current year.
  9. It is recommended that all hanging entries have a secure hanging device attached to the back for display purposes.
  10. Entries failing to meet the contest rules will be dropped one ribbon placing.
  11. Exhibits must be delivered to the south entrance of the Animal Science Building before 8:00 a.m. Saturday, of the contest.
  12. Judging will take place during the 4-H Companion Animal Challenge between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Exhibits will be available for pick-up Saturday by 2:30 PM unless prior arrangements are made.
  13. The Champion and Reserve Champion exhibits of the senior age division will be retained for use in the State 4-H Companion Animal program.
  14. The Nebraska 4-H Companion Animal Program will use diligence to ensure the safety of articles entered for exhibition after their arrival and placement. However, they will not be responsible for damage or loss by fire, theft, etc.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Originality
  2. Use of Imagination
  3. Creativity
  4. Composition
  5. Balance
  6. Harmony
  7. Overall Design
  8. Craftsmanship
  9. Completed Appearance
  10. Neatness
  11. Use of Materials
  12. Skill Level
  13. Appropriate Selection
  14. Presentation

Photography Contest

Age Divisions

  • Junior: 8-9 years old as of January 1 of the current year
  • Intermediate: 10-13 years of age as of January 1 of the current year
  • Senior: 14-18 years of age as of January 1 of the current year

Categories

  • Careers with companion animals
  • Animal health and/or nutrition
  • Good husbandry/grooming
  • Training and showing
  • Human-animal bond
  • Companion animal service or citizenship

Rules

  1. Entrants do not need to be enrolled in the 4-H dog, cat, rabbit, or compantion animal projects. However, participants must be an enrolled 4-H member.
  2. Participants may participate in all contests during the 4-H Companion Animal Challenge
  3. Individuals may enter up to three exhibits.
  4. Entry Tags: Entry Tag must be securely attached to the upper right hand corner of displays or prints.
  5. A photograph may only be used on one exhibit and may be taken with a film or digital camera.
  6. Photos must be shot by the 4-H member between April 1, 2016 and the contest date.
  7. Securely attach photos. Photos that are unattached with be disqualified.
  8. Do not use photo corners, borders, or place coverings over the exhibits. Do not include negatives.
  9. Personal Data Tags are required for all classes. Glue the tags securely to back of exhibits.
  10. All exhibit prints are 8" x 10" prints mounted in 11" x 14" (outside size) cut matting (no frames) with a sandwich mat-board backing (not foam board); rectangular or oval inside matt opening.
  11. Exhibits must be delivered to the south entrance of the Animal Science Building before 8:00 a.m. Saturday, of the contest.
  12. Judging will take place during the 4-H Companion Animal Challenge between 8:30 AM and 12:00 PM. Exhibits will be available for pick-up Saturday by 2:30 PM unless prior arrangements are made.
  • The Champion and Reserve Champion exhibits of the senior age division will be retained for use in the State 4-H Companion Animal program.
  • The Nebraska 4-H Companion Animal Program will use diligence to ensure the safety of articles entered for exhibition after their arrival and placement. However, they will not be responsible for damage or loss by fire, theft, etc.
  • Exhibits not following these rules will not be considered for awards.

Personal Data Tag

  • Name:____________________
  • Age:_____
  • County:____________
  • Camera Description (digital/film, fixed/auto/SLR)
  • Film Speed/(ISO or ASA)Setting
  • Camera Setting (Flash, Natural or Artificial light used)
  • Filter Used (if any) (ex: color, screen, etc.)
  • Special Lens Used (if any)
  • Focus Type (Automatic, Manual, Fixed)
  • Aperture Type/F Stop Setting (Adjustable, Non-Adjustable)
  • Shutter Speed Setting (Adjustable, Non-Adjustable)

Answer the following questions:

  • How was the photo was taken and printed (describe equipment and software used)?
  • Describe any changes made to the picture using computer software.
  • What did you intend to capture and what do you like about this photo?

For questions about this program or the information on this page, please contact:

mail icon

COORDINATOR: Lisa Karr
EMAIL: lisa.karr@unl.edu
PHONE: 402-472-6458