University of Maryland Extension

Animal Science Program

Frederick County 4-H has a rich history of excellence in the Animal Sciences Core Subject Area.  Our 4-H Members learn from knowledgeable faculty and experienced volunteers, many of whom grew up in Frederick County 4-H.


Youth in Animal Sciences projects:

  • Learn and practice life skills with an emphasis on decision making, acquiring knowledge and taking personal responsibility through participation in 4-H animal science opportunities such as project animal care, judging and bowl events.
  • Develop competencies in animal science, including an understanding of animal sciences and animal management as well as an awareness of agricultural issues in society (e.g. a concern for animal well being and increasing public agricultural literacy.)
  • Learn about the parts of an animal, breeds, costs to raise animals and how to care for animals.
  • Skillathon:
    For youth ages 5 - 13
    For youth ages 14 - 18
  • Livestock Judging is the evaluation of an animal's characteristics and making a comparison to other animals and the ideal standard of that particular class.  Livestock Judging for Beginners

Opportunities for non-animal owners exist:

There are state-wide leasing programs established for Horse and Pony and Dairy Cattle. Other leasing and grant programs exist in county llama, goat and sheep 4-H projects. Check with your county extension office for additional information. Many 4-H activities do not require the ownership of animals for participation.

Individuals owning animals:

There are projects involving the raising of market animals, breeding animals and often companion animals. In many cases, the project animal need not be purebred and/or registered.

Companion & Small Animal Projects:

Encourages the development of life skills while learning about animals. Each guide includes a separate achievement program and 14 activities to promote active learning and interaction with other youth, adult helpers, family members and members of the community. Leader guides are an excellent resource for older youth, teachers and project leaders. You do not need an animal to participate in these self-directed learning activity projects. Levels are age and skill appropriate for juniors, intermediates and seniors.

Animal Husbandry and Quality Assurance (AH&QA)

The Maryland and West Virginia 4-H and FFA Animal Husbandry & Quality Assurance (AH&QA) Program is an on-line training program which enables youth to fulfill the Quality Assurance training requirement via internet from their home, school or local library. This program is offered to help youth who participate in 4-H and FFA animal projects in Maryland and West Virginia learn about the importance of caring for, grooming and showing their animals in safe and ethical ways. For more information, visit our AH&QA web page.

Program areas include

Companion and Small AnimalsLivestock
AlpacasBeef Cattle
CatsDairy Cattle
DogsDairy Steer
RabbitsHorses and Ponies
Small PetsMeat Goats
Veterinary ScienceSwine
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