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Beef Project Information and Forms


Species Superintendent - Jym Quinlan,

For complete Livestock Rules and Fair Participation Requirement Information refer to the 2024 HCCFair Rulebook


For all Beef Cattle projects, complete the Beef Project and Record Book each year. This book includes Beef Breeding, Beef Feeder Calf, Dairy Beef Feeder Calf, and Market Beef. The Beef Resource Handbook is also needed for these projects but only needs to be purchased once and can be used by multiple family members.


  • Possession Dates – All project animals must be in the possession and care of the Junior Fair participant by the following dates

    • January 1st of the current year for Market Steer, Market Heifers, and Market Dairy Steer

    • May 1st of the current year for Beef Breeding & Feeder Calves

  • Registrations - All beef cattle projects must meet the following registration deadlines. Late or missing paperwork will make the participant ineligible to compete in the current year at the Hamilton County Community Fair.

    • 4-H Enrollment Form deadline – March 1st

    • Project Commitment Form deadline – May 7th

    • Market Animal Registration Form deadline for Market Steer, Market Heifers, Market Dairy Steer, and Feeder Calves – Within 7 days of the above possession dates.

      • Market Animal Registration Forms must also include four (4) photos of the animal.

    • All forms will be submitted online. 

  • Quality assurance - Junior Fair participants who wish to exhibit a market or dairy animal are required to attend the Livestock Quality Assurance training, along with a parent or guardian. 

  • Only animals shown in individual classes may be shown in group classes.

  • Beef must be cleaned before entering the barn on Animal Move-In day.

  • Health papers must be given to the Species Superintendent by weigh-in time if the animal is transported across a state line for exhibition. Health papers must be dated within 30 days of the show.

  • In the event of the death of a beef cattle project animal, the Junior Fair participant must notify the Species Superintendent immediately and the death must be verified by the Species Superintendent or a Hamilton County Community Fair Board Member. If a market beef cattle project animal dies before February 1st, the Junior Fair participant has 14 days to purchase a replacement animal. If an animal dies on or after February 1st, the animal may not be replaced.



  • Market steer projects must weigh a minimum of 1000 pounds in order to be sold.

  • Market beef heifer projects must weigh a minimum of 950 pounds in order to be sold.

  • All steers and market heifers must be dehorned to be exhibited/sold.

  • Project market animals must be beef breed.

  • Cattle shown as market steers or market heifers may be no older than 24 months of age at the time of weigh-in. If at any time during the fair, any concern as to the age of the animal is raised by another participant, fair board member, superintendent, or veterinarian, the fair veterinarian will verify with a tooth examination. If the fair veterinarian concludes the animal is past 24 months of age, it will be ineligible to show or sell and will have to be removed from the fairgrounds immediately.

  • If the project market animal is a dairy cross, there will be an individual class if FIVE steers are registered. If there are not five dairy cross steers registered, animals will show WITH beef steers.

  • A total of three (3) market steers/heifers may be exhibited/sold by a Junior Fair at the Hamilton County Community Fair.

  • Participants must have all market steers/heifers on dry feed by January 1st.

  • Market cattle are not to be on nursing cows or pasture after January 1st.

  • Feeder calf project animals must be born between July 1st, of the previous year and April 1st of the current year to be exhibited/sold in the current year.

  • Feeder calves must be castrated/de-horned and healed by May 1st.

  • A total of three (3) feeder calves may be exhibited/sold by a Junior Fair participant at the Hamilton County Community Fair.

  • Feeder calves must be weaned by May 1st and halter broken in order to show/sell.

  • Feeder calves must weigh a minimum of 300 pounds in order to be sold.

    • If necessary, feeder calf classes will be divided by weight.

  • Feeder calves may be exhibited in showmanship classes by their owner.

  • Feeder calf project animals that die may NOT be replaced.

  • Feeder calves do not have to be sold through the Livestock Sale.

  • Grand and Reserve Champion feeder calves are not required to be processed if sold through the Livestock Sale.

  • A feeder calf project animal may be shown at the Hamilton County Community Fair and Harvest Home Fair.



  • Beef breeding females over 36 months of age must have produced a living calf within 12 months of exhibition or a veterinarian’s proof of pregnancy must accompany the animal’s health certificate.

  • All beef breeding project animals must have a form of identification for the Project Commitment Form.


  • A clean, appropriately buttoned, tucked-in, collared shirt with short or long sleeves.

  • Long blue or black slacks/jeans or a skirt falling at or below the knee.

  • Footwear must consist of work boots or heavy shoes. Athletic-type shoes are NOT permitted.

  • For all species, the 4-H youth must participate in his/her respective showmanship class in order to participate in other classes in the species show.

  • If there are less than 2 participants in either Senior or Junior Showmanship, these classes will be combined. The combined class will be used as the Showman of Showmen Run-Off.

  • Senior Showmanship

    • Open to all beef exhibitors 14 – 18 years old (as of January 1st of the current year)

  • Junior Showmanship

    • Open to all beef exhibitors 8 – 13 years old (as of January 1st of the current year)

  • Novice Showmanship

    • Open to all Junior Fair participants in the Junior or Senior age group showing a beef project for the FIRST TIME EVER. A participant may OPT OUT of Novice Showmanship and show in their age category but must notify the Species Superintendent.

    • If there are fewer than 3 novice participants the Species Superintendent may choose not to hold a novice class. In this case, the participants would show in their age category.

Market Classes

Market Heifers - Market Steers - Grouped by weight for classes

Dairy Cross Class – Must have five (5) in this class to have an individual class. If five are not registered, dairy cross steers will show with beef steers.

Feeder Calves – Grouped by weight for classes

Beef Breeding Classes

Junior Heifer Calf - born after January 1, of the current year.

Senior Heifer Calf - born between September 1 and December 31 of the previous year. Summer Yearling Heifer - born between May 1 and August 31 of the previous year.

Junior Yearling Heifer - born between January 1 and April 30 of the previous year.

Senior Yearling Heifer - born between August 1 and December 31 of two years ago from the current year. Beef Production - Female animal over two (2) years without calf; safe in calving only

Cow with Calf - calf at side born after January 1 of the current year.

Junior Bull Calf - born after January 1 of the current year. (Must be exhibited in the Cow with Calf Class) Pair of Females -Animals must have been exhibited in one of the other beef breeding classes.

**The Species Superintendent is not required to hold any class that has less than 3 participants. Under these circumstances, classes may be combined as the superintendent deems appropriate.


  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place ribbons will be given in each beef cattle class.

  • Grand and Reserve Champion banners will be given for Market Heifer, Market Steer, Feeder Calves, and Beef Breeding.

  • 1st and 2nd place winners in Showmanship will receive trophies.

  • Top Exhibitor and Reserve Top Exhibitor Awards will be given to both Junior and Senior divisions. These winners will be the Junior Fair participants who have the two highest combined scores from the four project program areas: Project Judging, Skillathon, Showmanship placing, and Class placings.

  • To qualify for Top Exhibitor Awards the participant must participate in EACH of the four project program areas and receive a minimum score of 80% on Project Judging and Skillathon.

  • Top Exhibitors will receive a monetary award. Top Exhibitor Awards are given at the Awards Ceremony.

  • Exhibitors showing in Novice Showmanship are not eligible for Top Exhibitor Awards.

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