Marketing Resources

It is the responsibility of each youth to market their 4-H livestock animal and marketing is an important learning component of the project as well.  Youth are also encouraged to contact potential buyers through personal visits, letters, social media, etc. and distribute sale flyers available from the Extension Offices.  Please see the “Marketing Your 4-H Livestock Project” and “Marketing You and your 4-H Steer or Swine Project – A Helper Guide for 4-H’ers and their families" for marketing ideas.  

Marias Fair Beef Rules

 

Age and enrollment requirements

  • Youth must be 10 years of age by October 1 of the current year to enroll in the market beef and/or beef breeding projects

Market Steer Specific

  • Dehorning - All market steers must be dehorned by or during weigh-in time in December

  • Date of birth - Market steers must have been born after January 1 of the prior year

  • Castration - Market steers must be properly castrated

  • Breeds - Any beef breed is acceptable

  • Weigh – in - Market animals need to be weighed-in no later than the deadline set by the Marias Fair 4-H Livestock Committee (early December), and the animal needs to be in full possession of the 4-Her at this time
  • Tagging - A Marias Fair button with a green numbered tag in one ear is required, with a cloverleaf, current year, and cloverleaf tattooed in the opposite ear, this will be received at the county weigh-in in early December
  • Spare – One spare animal may be weighed in per exhibitor, including for a pen of three. In the case of the death of an exhibitor’s Marias Fair market animal(s), the exhibitor may purchase another exhibitor’s officially weighed-in Marias Fair market animal 
  • Livestock Quality Assurance - Livestock Quality Assurance training is required every other year for members. Watch your county newsletter for training dates, times, and locations
  • Minimum weight - The minimum weight for sale at the Marias Fair Livestock Auction is 1,050 pounds. If an animal is underweight, they may still participate in the showmanship portion of the livestock show and compete in a special feeder class
  • Show requirements - Showing in market and showmanship classes are required to sell in the 4-H livestock auction
  • Pre-Show - A pre-show will take place Wednesday evening of the fair to determine showing suitability. All animals will have to be shown as manageable to members of the livestock committee.  If they are proven to be unmanageable, they will be disqualified and removed from the Fairgrounds

 

Marias Fair Beef Breeding Rules

Please consult the Marias Fair 4-H website for a complete listing of rules, this is a summary of pertinent information to know at the beginning of the project.

Age and enrollment requirements

  • Youth must be 10 years of age by October 1 of the current year to enroll in the market beef and/or beef breeding projects

Beef Breeding Specific

  • Breed - Beef breeding projects can be any breed
  • Multiple entries - More than one entry per lot number may be shown (Example – a youth can exhibit two yearling heifers)
  • Tattoo - Breeding animals must have either the 4-H Clover tattoo or an association registration tattoo submitted to their Extension Office by the swine weigh-in deadline (May 1, 2020). Registered animals will have their tattoo number recorded on their association paper from the breed association.  If no identifiable tattoo is available, a picture may be submitted instead.  The 4-Her needs to have full possession of their project animal at this time. 
    • Example – A registered heifer’s breed association tattoo can simply be submitted to the Extension office, while a commercial heifer should either have a picture submitted or be tattooed with the 4-H Clover, which could be done at steer weigh-in time or any time prior to the mid-April deadline.
  • Registration Papers - All breeding animals must have registration papers available at fair if competing for special breed association awards.

 

Marias Fair Swine Rules

Age and enrollment requirements

  • Youth must be 8 years of age by October 1 of the current year to enroll in the market swine and/or swine breeding projects

Market Swine Specific

  • Breeds - Any swine breed is acceptable.
  • Tagging Deadline - Market animals need to be tagged no later than the deadline set by the Marias Fair 4-H Livestock Committee (May 1, 2020), and the animal needs to be in full possession of the 4-Her at this date. Watch your county newsletter and communicate with your Extension Agent on how this will be handled within your county.    
  • Tagging Procedure - A Marias Fair button with a green numbered tag in one ear is required, this will be administered through the county Extension Office. Should an animal lose their ear tag, a replacement tag must be requested through the Extension Office. 
  • Spare – One spare animal may be weighed in/exhibitor, including for a pen of three. In the case of the death of an exhibitor’s Marias Fair market animal(s), the exhibitor may purchase another exhibitor’s officially weighed-in Marias Fair market animal. 
  • Livestock Quality Assurance - Livestock Quality Assurance training is required every other year for members. Watch your county newsletter for training dates, times, and locations.
  • Minimum weight - The minimum weight for sale at the Marias Fair Livestock Auction is 220 pounds. If an animal is underweight, they may still participate in the showmanship portion of the livestock show and compete in a special feeder class. Underweight animals may be sold private treaty, but no signs may be posted until after the livestock auction.
  • Maximum weight - The maximum weight for sale is 300 pounds. Any hog that weighs over 300 pounds is still eligible for show and sale, but the member will only be paid for 300 pounds. 
  • Show and sale requirements - Showing in market and showmanship classes and the member being present at the sale are required to sell in the 4-H livestock auction.
  • Waterer/Feeder requirements – At the fair, self-waterers are required in hog pens, and self-feeders are recommended.

Breeding Swine Specific

  • Breeds - Any swine breed is acceptable.
  • Multiple entries - More than one entry per lot number may be shown (Example – a youth can exhibit two gilts, etc.)
  • Identification - Breeding animals must have either the 4-H Clover tattoo or an association registration tattoo or picture of their animal submitted to their Extension Office by the hog weigh-in deadline year. The 4-Her needs to have full possession of their project animal at this time. 

 

Swine Management Considerations  

Commingling Pigs

Commingling occurs when you mingle pigs from more than one location together (example, you purchase a show pig from one breeder and a spare pig from a local breeder).  This is a relatively low risk situation with market hogs, as compared to a breeding operation where you already have your own pigs on site and then run the risk of bringing a disease into your breeding operation. 

However, any time you mix pigs (or any livestock), you do run the risk that if one has a disease, it will be transferred to the other pig(s).  To prevent this, a 21-day quarantine (pigs are penned separately) can be implemented.  If after 21 days there are no signs of sickness or disease, you can then mix the pigs. 

If you choose not to do a quarantine period (it may not be realistic for every 4-Her, and again, is not a critical recommendation for market hogs), you should at the minimum watch the pigs for a couple hours to make sure they are adjusting to their new pen mate.  If there appears to be excessive fighting, you may need to pen them next to each other until they are acclimated and then reintroduce them.

Regardless of how you choose to mix your hogs, you will want to make sure that they have all had a similar vaccination program.  If there are differences in their previous vaccinations, make sure that you get both on a similar program.  Below are some specific vaccinations to ask your breeder about.  These recommendations come from Dr. Jeanne Rankin (veterinarian) and Marc King (MSU Extension agent in Sweetgrass County and a show pig breeder). 


Recommended Vaccinations

  •  Circovirus and Mycoplasma – this can be a one or two dose program
    • According to Dr. Rankin, many of the colonies give a circovirus and mycloplasma vaccine to the pigs (at 21 to 28 days of age), but a booster dose at 3 weeks after arrival to your operation would be a good idea.
      • Marc King said he does not vaccinate for Circovirus as he hasn’t seen it to be an issue, but he does give his pigs a Mycoplasma booster around mid-May.
  • Erysipelas – this can be an injectable or oral vaccine, highly recommended
    • This can be given 1 to 3 weeks after arrival to your operation.
  • Rhinitis
    • This is a vaccination highly recommended, and helps prevent deformities in the nose.
    • Commonly sows and gilts receive vaccination prior to farrowing, and then piglets receive a 1 ml dose at 7-10 days, followed by a 2 ml dose 2 weeks later.
  • 7-Way vaccination
    • This was a vaccination recommended by Marc King, who gives it twice prior to the sale of his feeder pigs.  If your pigs have not been given a 7-way, it may be one to consider.
  • Reference article on vaccinations: http://nationalswine.com/e-mags/se_archive_new/2015/2015_march_seedstock/2015_March_Seedstock.html#p=32

 


Recommended Deworming protocol

It is highly recommended to deworm hogs every month.  This is critical to achieving a high rate of gain, improving feed conversion, and decreasing potential disease problems with your hog.  The Marias Fair Livestock Committee provides an injectable dewormer for when the hog is tagged, and will leave a syringe with 2 ml of Ivermectrin to deworm with 3 weeks later for 4-H pigs.  Not all products cover all species of worms, so it is recommended to rotate deworming products each month (for example, may use Ivomec one month, Dectomax the next month, and Safeguard the last month) to ensure that all species are covered.

 

 

Marias Fair Sheep Rules

 

Age and enrollment requirements

  • Youth must be 8 years of age by October 1 of the current year to enroll in the market sheep and/or sheep breeding projects

 

Market Lamb Specific

  • Breeds - Any sheep breed is acceptable.
  • Tagging Deadline - Market animals need to be tagged no later than the deadline set by the Marias Fair 4-H Livestock Committee (May 10, 2020), and the animal needs to be in full possession of the 4-Her at this date.
  • TaggingProcedure - A Marias Fair button with a green numbered tag in one ear is required, this will be administered through the county Extension Office. Should an animal lose their ear tag, a replacement tag must be requested through the Extension Office. 
  • Spare – One spare animal may be weighed in/exhibitor, including for a pen of three. In the case of the death of an exhibitor’s Marias Fair market animal(s), the exhibitor may purchase another exhibitor’s officially weighed-in Marias Fair market animal. 
  • Livestock Quality Assurance - Livestock Quality Assurance training is required every other year for members, watch your county newsletter for training dates, times, and locations
  • Minimum weight - The minimum weight for sale at the Marias Fair Livestock Auction is 100 pounds. If an animal is underweight, they may still participate in the showmanship portion of the livestock show and compete in a special feeder class. Underweight animals may be sold private treaty, but no signs may be posted until after the livestock auction.
  • Maximum weight - The maximum weight for sale is 145 pounds. Any market lamb that weighs over 145 pounds is still eligible for show and sale, but the member will only be paid for 145 pounds. 
  • Show and sale requirements - Showing in market and showmanship classes and the member being present at the sale are required to sell in the 4-H livestock auction.
  • Scrapie tags – All sheep must have scrapie tags.
  • Shearing – All lambs must be sheared 10 – 15 days prior to weigh-in on Wednesday of the fair.

 

 

 

Marias Fair Sheep Breeding Rules

 

Age and enrollment requirements

  • Youth must be 8 years of age by October 1 of the current year to enroll in the market sheep and/or sheep breeding projects

 

Sheep Breeding Specific

  • Breed - Sheep breeding projects can be any breed
  • Multiple entries - More than one entry per lot number may be shown (Example – a youth can exhibit two yearling ewes)
  • Scrapie tags – Scrapie tags are required. All breeding stock must be identifiable with 4-H Clover tattoo, Association registration tattoo number, or Scrapie tag through local Extension Office by the official swine weigh-in deadline each year (May 1, 2020).  If no identifiable tattoo or tag is available, a picture may be submitted instead.  The 4-Her needs to have full possession of their animal at this time.   
  • Registration Papers – It is encouraged that all rams be registered with their respective breed association.
  • Show format – All sheep breeding animals will be shown at judge’s discretion, either in pen or at halter.

 

Marias Fair Goat Rules

 

Age and enrollment requirements

  • Youth must be 8 years of age by October 1 of the current year to enroll in goat projects.


Market Goat Specific

  • Breeds – Market goats must be at least 50% or more of a meat breed.
  • Sale – Goats are eligible for sale in the 4-H Livestock Auction.
  • Horns – Meat goats (including market goats) may be shown with or without horns. Dehorning or “disbudding” goats is recommended to be done at 10 to 14 days of age (even earlier for males).  Disbudding may be done with an iron or banding, if done improperly, scurs may result.  If the goats have not been dehorned, it is recommended that their horns be “tipped” (trimmed of sharp points) for the showman’s safety.  Tipping should occur four to six weeks before the show. 
  • Tagging Deadline - Market animals need to be tagged no later than the deadline set by the Marias Fair 4-H Livestock Committee (May 10, 2020), and the animal needs to be in full possession of the 4-Her at this date.
  • TaggingProcedure - A Marias Fair button with a green numbered tag in one ear is required, this will be administered through the county Extension Office. Should an animal lose their ear tag, a replacement tag must be requested through the Extension Office. 
  • Spare – One spare animal may be weighed in/exhibitor, including for a pen of three. In the case of the death of an exhibitor’s Marias Fair market animal(s), the exhibitor may purchase another exhibitor’s officially weighed-in Marias Fair market animal. 
  • Livestock Quality Assurance - Livestock Quality Assurance training is required every other year for members, watch your county newsletter for training dates, times, and locations
  • Minimum weight - The minimum weight for sale at the Marias Fair Livestock Auction is 70 pounds. If an animal is underweight, they may still participate in the showmanship portion of the livestock show and compete in a special feeder class. Underweight animals may be sold private treaty, but no signs may be posted until after the livestock auction.
  • Maximum weight - The maximum weight for sale is 110 pounds. Any market lamb that weighs over 100 pounds is still eligible for show and sale, but the member will only be paid for 110 pounds. 
  • Show and sale requirements - Showing in market and showmanship classes and the member being present at the sale are required to sell in the 4-H livestock auction.
  • Scrapie tags – All market goats must have scrapie tags.
  • Multiple entries – Market goat entries may not be shown in other lots (with the exception of showmanship). For example, the same goat may not be shown as both a Market Goat and a Junior Kid. 
  • Age of goats – It is suggested that market goats be 7 to 10 months of age at fair and should be no more than one year of age.

 

Breeding Goat Specific

  • Breeds - Any goat breed is acceptable.
  • Multiple entries - More than one entry per lot number may be shown (Example – a youth can exhibit two milkers, etc.)
  • Identification - Breeding animals must have either the 4-H Clover tattoo or an association registration tattoo or picture of their animal submitted to their Extension Office by the swine weigh-in deadline year. The 4-Her needs to have full possession of their project animal at this time. 

 Questions -

Please direct any specific questions to your county extension agricultural agent or Livestock Committee Advising Agents, Jesse Fulbright (jlf@montana.edu, 759-5625) or Kari Lewis (kari.lewis@montana.edu, 873-2239).