Several of you work with 4-H members that are showing livestock.  As always, we need to make sure that we are communicating with 4-H Agents and Extension Personnel responsible for those 4-H members.

Be sure to keep them aware of students you are working with, and that they are documented as 4-H members in your county.  It is best to have parents make sure that all paperwork for membership is filled out and have them build a relationship with the Extension Office.  Give agents plenty of time before entry deadlines to input entries.  If for some reason, one comes up at the last minute, it is best for the 4-H agent to contact the state staff that an entry deadline will be missed than to enter a 4-H member on the FFA entries.  Then, keep them in the loop and get them involved so that it is not all your responsibility for updates. 

There are new guidelines for 4-H membership going into effect this year as of September 1, 2015.  I have attached them below.  They can also be found on the 4-H website.

Things to remember:  (Please review attachments for details)
1.  Starting August 1 - Grade Level shall determine participation in Georgia 4-H Programs.
2.  4-H Grade will be determined based on the participant's age as of September 1 of the current 4-H year.
3.  Grandfathering Clause:  4-H'ers who would have been eligible to show livestock in the 2016 4-H year because of their ninth birthday falling before January 1, 2016, will be allowed to show in 2016.  This is for the 2016 4-H year only.
4.  For the Georgia Junior National Livestock Shows in February and the State Market Lamb and State Market Goat shows:  
State Market Hog Show, Breeding Heifer, Market Steer, and Commercial Dairy Heifer Shows - Exhibitors must be in 4th grade as of September 1 

Additionally, the Georgia National Fair ages for showing Swine will continue to be (plus pre-club age children in grades 1-4 and at least 6 yrs. of age by Sep. 1).  They will not be referred to as 4-H members unless they meet grade requirements. 

Please give me or your Area Animal Science Teacher if you have any questions or concerns.

Ricky Wheeler
Area Animal Science Teacher
Central Region - Agricultural Education
101 North Main Street
Room 318
Swainsboro, Georgia 30401
478/595-5351 (c)