One of the basic philosophies and principles of 4-H is for the youth to learn by doing. This can happen best when parents and other interested adults encourage 4-H members to do their own project work with the guidance and advice of adults as needed.

Code of Ethics/Exhibitor Guidelines

Exhibitors of animals at 4-H animal shows shall at all times conduct themselves with honesty and good sportsmanship. Their conduct in the 4-H show ring shall always reflect the highest standards of honor and dignity to promote the advancement of youth education, positive character development and integrity. The showing of unethically fitted animals for exhibition in the class entered is prohibited. Unethical fitting means any physical or physiological attempt to alter the natural conformation, musculature or weight of any animal or marketability of its carcass. Unethical fitting includes, but may not be limited to:

  • use of artificial tail fins, artificial polls, false tails
  • addition of any hair or hair-like substance to any part of the animal’s body
  • dying or coloring the animal which may make breed determination difficult or true color uncertain
  • methods of artificially filling 4-H livestock prior to weighing or showing

The Yankton County 4-H Livestock Committee and Extension Office staff reserve the right to withhold premium money and eligibility for county-based awards to any livestock exhibitor who has fitted or attempted to fit the animal in an unethical manner.

Only the 4-H exhibitor, a member of the exhibitor’s immediate family, or 4-H Club Leader that is registered in Yankton County may perform fitting, blocking, clipping, etc. on 4-H animals while they are present on the Yankton County Fairgrounds. The 4-H exhibitor must be present while fitting is being performed.

Animal Ownership

All beef, goat, dairy, sheep, and swine must be owned:
a) Solely by the 4-H exhibitor, or
b) The exhibitor in partnership with other member(s) of his or her immediate family. Only the name of the showman can be on the show entry. Immediate family is defined as members of a household, including parents, brothers and sisters and youth in the care of the head of the household.

Leasing Animals

Livestock Lease agreements are acceptable for all classes of animals, except market swine. Swine projects are not allowed to be leased, as the State Fair show is terminal and checks are cut to the youth who entered the animal. Youth may need to consider leasing livestock if they do not have:
• Adequate facilities to house the animal or
• Financial means to own and take care of livestock.

The South Dakota 4-H livestock lease form must be filed with your local County Extension Office no later than June 1, for Breeding Beef, Dairy Cattle, Dairy Goats, Breeding Meat Goats, and Breeding Sheep, Market Lambs, Market Meat Goats and Market Beef.

Health Regulations

All beef, sheep, swine, goats, dog, cat, rabbits and dairy animals must have a health certificate issued by a licensed, accredited veterinarian within the 30 days prior to the Yankton County 4-H Achievement Days and 30 days prior to the SD State Fair. Properly filled out health certificates must be presented at check-in time.

Health certificates are not required for Poultry exhibits; only healthy entries will be accepted, however, as determined by the Yankton County 4-H livestock species committees. Poultry will be checked for Avian Flu.

Livestock Affidavits

Livestock Affidavits are available for your personal use.  They are not required by the SD State Fair.

Breeding Beef Ownership Verification Affidavit

Breeding Meat Goat Ownership Verification Affidavit

Breeding Sheep Ownership Verification Affidavit

Dairy Goat Ownership Verification Affidavit

Market Beef Ownership Verification Affidavit

Market Goat Ownership Verification Affidavit

Market Lamb Ownership Verification Affidavit

Market Swine Ownership Verification Affidavit

Poultry Ownership Verification Affidavit

Rabbit Ownership Verification Affidavit


Breed Registration Papers

A copy of the breed registration paper for registered or purebred animals must be uploaded to the 4-H Member records on the 4hOnline enrollment system by July 1. For State Fair and AKSARBEN, registration papers must show one of the following:
a) The member’s name as owner, or
b) The name of the exhibitor and/or co-owner who is a member of the exhibitor’s immediate family, or
c) The family farm or ranch name or parent’s name. (Unless specified differently by specific junior breed association rules for South Dakota)

In leasing situations, exhibitors must still submit a copy of registration papers to their County Extension Office by August 1. Registered animals owned by someone outside immediate family must be registered to the owner listed on the 4-H Livestock Lease Agreement Form. Registration papers must be available
at the time of check-in for State Fair.

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)

All youth must have a completed Country of Origin Labeling affidavit form in their personal files for 4-H Livestock Projects, regardless of whether their animals were purchased or raised.

Deadlines & Appropriate Identification Methods

Each species is required to have appropriate identification by a certain deadline. To view all deadlines and identification methods, click here.

Housing/Stalling of 4-H Livestock

During the Yankton County 4-H Achievement Days,  beef will be in the green barn, rabbits and poultry in the East barn, and swine, sheep and goats in the multi-use building.

Cattle may be tied outside the barn from 6:00 PM to 10:00 AM in the designated tie-out areas. Each 4-H Club will have a designated tie-out area, and feeding can be done during the tie-out time. Exhibitors should use double ties during this time.

All 4-H livestock exhibitors must furnish their own livestock feed, tack, trimming chutes, etc. Livestock may be fed at any time, but in the case of cattle, it is recommended that they be fed while they are at their tie-out locations. Spilled grain and left-over hay should be cleaned up immediately. Equipment should be kept safe for the public, and covers and shields must be on all fans and belts used in and around the show barns. All livestock exhibitors (beef, sheep, swine, goat, rabbit and poultry) are responsible for bringing their own fans, if needed, during Achievement Days.


In an effort to effectively promote projects and the industry to the public, the care and presentation of exhibits must be of high standards at all times during Achievement Days and the SD State Fair.

Person’s appointed Yankton County 4-H Staff makes stall checks on a regular basis throughout Achievement Days. The 4-H Club (or clubs) whose stalls, livestock and attendants present the best appearance during Achievement Days will receive their name on the Yankton County 4-H Herdsmanship Plaque. 4-H Herdsmanship is judged Friday through Sunday for Beef, Swine and Sheep/Goats. Herdsmanship is also judged throughout the SD State Fair. Winning counties will have the ability to choose where they would like to be stalled the next year.

 Entering 4-H Livestock

All livestock exhibits must be entered on 4-H online prior to June 1st and in Fair Entry by July 23rd.   Entry instructions for 4-H online are as follows, How to Add Animals in 4HOnline.

All livestock exhibits must be on the Fairgrounds by 7:00 PM on Thursday evening. Swine will be weighed in beginning at 7:00 PM, followed by beef, and then sheep and goats.

All Livestock exhibits must be checked in with their designated species superintendents upon arrival at the fairgrounds. Exhibits must also be checked out by the species superintendents before being released from Achievement Days on Saturday. Any exhibitor who does not check out, or does not assist with clean up, risks the forfeiture of their premium money.

Showing 4-H Livestock/Showmanship

All exhibitors are expected to be on time when their class is called. Once the ring gate is closed, the exhibitor is no longer welcome in the ring to have their animal judged. If a member is unable to show their own animal, a substitute  showman may assist. Substitute showmen must be 4-H members.

Showmanship contests will be held in beef, swine, goat, sheep, poultry and rabbits. Members will be judged on their ability to show their animals to the best advantage at all times, the fitting of the animals, attentiveness in the show ring and personal grooming. Senior Showmanship will be held first, followed by Juniors, and then Beginners.

All 4-H Showmen must wear hard-soled leather boots or rubber boots, long pants (black or blue), and the current year’s 4-H Achievement Days t-shirt. No tennis shoes, sandals, caps, hats or sunglasses will be allowed in the show ring. If any member is dressed improperly, they will be prohibited from the show.

 Care and Handling

4-H members, parents or leaders are expected to provide proper care and treatment in handling, feeding, watering, transporting and showing of their 4-H animals. All efforts should be made to reduce stressful situations for your 4-H animals whenever and wherever possible.

All livestock exhibits must be broke to lead and docile enough to be around the general public. Safety is of primary importance. If an animal is of questionable behavior, the species committee and county staff will meet to decide whether or not to remove the animal from the fairgrounds. All decisions made at this time will be final.

Protest Procedure

A Grievance Committee of 7 individuals will oversee all complaints filed during the Yankton County 4-H Achievement Days. This committee is made up of:

  • Yankton County 4-H Leaders Association President
  • Yankton County 4-H Leaders Association Vice President
  • One Live Animal Committee Representative
  • One Non-Livestock Representative
  • One non 4-H Representative
  • Yankton County 4-H Advisor & Assistant (Advisory role only)

Any individuals wishing to file an official complaint must follow the steps listed below.

1. Submit the dated written protest with an ink signature and a $25 deposit to the Yankton County 4-H Grievance Committee in the Yankton County 4-H Office before the exhibit is released from the Pine Acres Fairgrounds. Protest documents must include:

  • Names of people involved
  • Additional people the Protest Review Group may contact for clarification
  • Specific action, rule, etc., in question
  • Concern(s) and/or situation with documentation
  • Recommendation(s) for correction
  • Procedures and/or steps carried out by person involved before submitting the protest to the Yankton County 4-H Grievance Committee.

2. The Yankton County 4-H Grievance Committee considers written protests. The Committee may discuss the situation with the people affected and event officials. The Committee then develops recommendations, follows up, and communicates both verbally and in writing to the individuals affected.

3. In cases of protests and to allow for smooth operation of events, affected exhibitors may be allowed to participate in the event with the results subject to change based on the outcome of the protest process. The Yankton County 4-H Grievance Committee reserves the right to exclude exhibitors if warranted and withhold any awards.


Horse Form is required to identify all horses planning to be used in the Yankton County 4-H Horse Show and the SD State 4-H Horse Show. Youth are also required to complete the Horse Project: Achievement Program.

Those youth interested in 4-H rodeo should review the 2018 4-H Rodeo Contest Packet. The 2018 Rodeo Contest Packet is available, at can be looked at as a resource. Please realize some changes will likely be made.

The SD State 4-H Horse Show is held every year in Huron, SD in July. For more information on competing in this show view the State Horse Show Contestant Packet.



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