Good Production Practices Impact Report

4-H Animal Science Good Production Practices. 4-H is one of only a few youth organizations that provides youth opportunities to “learn by doing” with animals. Through the 4-H Animal Science Program Penn State Extension has established a standard of care for all animal projects.

4-H Animal Sciences

The primary purpose of the youth livestock program is to provide an opportunity for growth and development of the young person. A secondary purpose is to teach young people good production practices and how to apply them to the selection, feeding, showing of their animals. In the process of feeding and caring for an animal, young people have the opportunity to develop many positive character traits.

All 4-H animal science youth are required to participate in training regarding three specific “Good Production Practices” annually. The statewide Youth Quality Animal Management curriculum is taught by trained Extension Educators and 4-H Volunteers. Each session includes background information reinforced by hands-on activities and follow-up discussion.

The program began in 2010 and focuses on twelve quality management practices or issues.

Impact Summary

Program Year 2010-11

The Youth Quality Animal Management program was presented in 64 counties. In a post evaluation participants (N=8838) indicated knowledge gained as outlined below:

  • 96.2% (n=8475) knew that biosecurity prevents disease from being spread to your animals;
  • 94.2% (n=8288) indicated that separating animals returning from the show from other animals on the farm would increase biosecurity;
  • 92.1% (n=8177) identified regular evaluation by a vet, to observe animals every day, and to keep treatment records were important components to follow when developing an animal health plan; and
  • 92.9% (n=8162) identified that cleaning equipment after each use and keeping project animals pens clean are ways to keep animals from getting sick.

Through the use of accepted animal husbandry practices youth producers enrolled in a 4-H animal science project will produce a quality product that meets consumer demands for product quality, wholesomeness and production accountability. Educational programs, training and certification models will meet the requirements that are expected by producers for products entering the food and fiber system and in the case of the equine and companion animal industry—breeding, racing, pleasure, and competition.

Vet Consultation
My veterinarian is consulted whenever I need to make an important medical decision regarding the health of my project animals.

Program Year 2011-12

Youth (N=8,313) indicated they are practicing the following quality animal management practices to insure food safety and wholesomeness as well as proper care of their project animals.

  • Stored feed away from contaminates such as chemicals, medications or feed for other species - 91.0%, n=7,556
  • Cleaned water buckets and water fountains regularly - 90.3%, n=7,496
  • Properly stored animal health products - 88.8%, n-7,351
  • Fed only high quality feeds to my animals - 87.3%, n-7,325
  • Identified my animals (tag, tattoo, or other means) - 80.9%, n=6,721
  • Kept health and feed records for all animals - 80.5%, n=6,689

Program Year 2012-13

Youth (N=2,550) indicated they plan to practice the following quality animal management skills this year.

  • When administering medication, proper method listed on label will be followed - 92.3%, n=2,339
  • Keep records for all animals - 95.6%, n=2,432
  • Will have a written emergency plan - 80.4%, n=2,123
  • Follow feed tag instructions - 95.9%, n=2,430
  • Store feed away from contaminates - 97.2%, n=2,459

In addition, 76.5% (n=2,033) identified to never inject an animal that may be used for meat in the loin or leg area because these muscles correspond to valuable cuts of meat.

Through the use of accepted animal husbandry practices youth producers enrolled in a 4-H animal science project will produce a quality product that meets consumer demands for product quality, wholesomeness and production accountability. Educational programs, training and certification models will meet the requirements that are expected by producers for products entering the food and fiber system and in the case of the equine and companion animal industry—breeding, racing, pleasure, and competition.

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Good Production Practices Impact Report

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