The three youth guides in the swine series are designed for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners respectively. Youth may work at the level most appropriate for them. Each guide includes an achievement program to provide challenging activities, a way to expand project experiences beyond the animal and a means to recognize youth for what they have accomplished. The activities in this guide are specifically designed to help youth develop skills in decision making, relating to others, communicating with others and learning to learn.
Please note there are age restrictions on this project area:
Youth must be 8 by October 1st of the current 4-H year to be eligible for:
- Competitive situations, such as livestock shows or sales
- Enrollment in large animal projects, including Beef, Dairy, Goat, Horse, Sheep, Alpaca/Llama, and Swine
- Enrollment in shooting sports projects
- Enrollment in projects using motorized vehicles
- Enrollment in food preservation projects
Cloverbuds, 4-H youth ages 5-7, may participate in a number of age-appropriate activities, though they may not participate in competitive events.
If you have questions about eligibility please, contact your county 4-H coordinator.
- Learn about swine breeds and how to select the breed best for their 4-H project
- Identify swine anatomy and identify how healthy swine look and behave
- Understand the selection, grooming, feeding, training and care of swine project animals
- Name and identify cuts of meat and discover pork and pork byproducts
- Prepare, show, and market their project animals at fair
4-H Swine Curriculum
Available in the Extension office or online.
Activities include naming breeds, learning swine body parts, judging market hogs, exploring a digestive system, examining a healthy pig, identifying pork cuts, and practicing fitting and showing.
Activities in Swine 2 include managing baby pigs, balancing a ration, exploring swine diseases, preparing pork, discovering swine careers and packing a show box.
Advanced youth will plan a breeding system, judge breeding gilts, design a swine operation, complete a job application, explore career opportunities and international markets plus many other challenging activities.
Packed with activities to involve the entire group. Youth will plan a program, complete project records, develop a management calendar, explore the pork quality assurance program & investigate character education.
This curriculum is designed as a guide for the project facilitator. The activities and background information in this curriculum will help youth develop the requisite knowledge and skills associated with raising and showing swine. Activities are youth centered and include opportunities for the application of knowledge and skills at three different levels of experience: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
*bio-security risk assessment and mitigation strategies.
*budgeting decisions associated with raising and housing swine.
*dietary needs of pigs at different life stages.
*elements of swine conformation.
*pre-show preparation; showmanship; and judging.
*strategies for crossbreeding swine.
*ethical decision making in caring for and showing swine.
*tip-to-tail health assessments.
Washington 4-H Records, Forms, and Guides
For youth members
Worksheets for keeping track of costs and returns on 4-H market livestock projects.
Worksheet for keeping track of costs and returns on 4-H breeding livestock projects.
Sheet that records inventory, expenses, and income from an animal science project.
Youth producers will record all relevant health information for their market swine on this form. A sample form includes instructions for completing the form.
A supplemental sheet to go with the 4-H health forms for individuals that need to record more treatments, etc.
For adult helpers and club leaders
This website was created by the University of Illinois Extension to help you learn more about beef, dairy, horses, poultry, sheep, swine, forage, and meats.
Washington Specific Reference Material
Other Reference Material
From 4-H Programs
From Higher Education Institutions
From Related Organizations, Journals, and Professionals
Did you know that regardless of how many pigs you care for, whether it’s a single show pig or thousands of market hogs, you are part of the pork industry? And, just as you are responsible for keeping your show pig(s) healthy, you share the responsibility of keeping all of the pigs in the United States healthy!
A healthy swine herd starts with raising healthy pigs at home. And raising a healthy pig starts with biosecurity.
This booklet is intended for youth exhibitors of all ages and levels of experience. In it, you will find recommended biosecurity guidelines to follow on the farm and when taking pigs to fairs and exhibitions.
- Kits, Projects, and Activities from National 4-H