University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program

State Qualifiers for National Animal Science Events

Every year California 4-H is well represented by a variety of teams competing at national contests. In order to compete in national contests, 4-H youth must first qualify at a State Qualifying Event. Below is a list of state qualifying events for National Contests. 


Roles and Responsibilities for National Contests

National Contests Roles and Responsibilities for Staff, Coaches, Chaperones, and Youth-update

National 4-H Competitive Event Rules


State Qualifiers 

The UC Davis CA&ES Field Day serves as the California 4-H State Qualifier for Poultry, Dairy, and Livestock judging.

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences holds its annual Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day the first Friday and Saturday of March. This field day is open to FFA and 4-H high school students from California and surrounding states. These high school students come to Davis to compete in agriculturally-based judging contests, ranging from livestock judging to agriculture computer applications. UC Davis students from a variety of majors coordinate the contests. Faculty and staff in CA&ES serve as advisors for these contests.

  • 4-H Youth 14-19 may participate.
  • A county may enter more than one livestock/dairy judging team. A judging team typically consists of four members and all must be from the same county. In calculating the team’s scores, the lowest individual score is dropped. A club or county may also enter a three-person team. If you do not have enough members to make a team, 4-Hers may compete as individuals. They will be eligible for individual awards but cannot qualify to go to National 4-H Livestock/Dairy Judging contests.
  • 4-H Youth 9-13 may view Livestock Judging and Dairy Judging classes after the contest.
  • This event is the state qualifier for poultry, livestock, and dairy judging.
  • CATA contest rules apply for classes, tiebreakers, & awards, etc., available:
  • Each county verifies their team(s) including team composition, 4-H youth in good standing and age requirements, etc.
  • Livestock Judging Contest: New: Meat Goat 1 Class, Performance Reasons, No Livestock Test
  • Dairy Judging Contest: Ca State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest Rules and Regulations requires participating youth to be enrolled in a 4-H Dairy Project. NOTE: 4-H youth representing the state qualifying team for the World Dairy Expo, must be turning at least 15 years of age during the year of the contest.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MOU) 4-H_FFA_Grange_CDFA_Agreement describes the statewide cooperation between these organizations and policies governing membership and project participation in them.
  • Register at  to participate in Poultry, Dairy, and Livestock judging with the chance to qualify for nationals. 

National 4-H Contests and State Qualifiers

Livestock Judging

California State Livestock judging Rules

There are three National 4-H Livestock Judging Contests.

The first place team (composed of the top placing team at the State 4-H Livestock Judging Qualifier) may select which contest for which they will represent California. The second place team may select next, and the third placing team may select third. California 4-H does not need to send a team to all of the contests.

Dairy Judging

California State Dairy Contest Rules

To view contest rules and regulations, please see California State 4H Dairy Contest Rules

The top placing team from the State 4-H Dairy Judging contest qualify as the first place team and is eligible to represent California in the official National 4-H Dairy Judging competition at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. The Expo is the international dairy meeting place, a five day event showcasing the finest in dairy genetics and the newest technologies available to the dairy industry. For more information please visit


Poultry Judging

California State Poultry Judging Rules

The top placing team from the State 4-H Poultry Judging contest qualify as the first place team and is eligible to represent California in the official National 4-H Poultry Judging competition in Kentucky.

4-H Poultry Showmanship-National Standards guide. This guide is used nationwide for 4-H Poultry Showmanship.

Avian Bowl State Qualifier

****UPDATE: ALL California winter shows are now cancelled, but the Avian Bowl State Qualifier WILL go on at a new location - please see below.****

The following is a message from Dr. Francine Bradley regarding the Avian Bowl State Qualifier:

"January 22, 2019: Urgent Notice – California Avian Bowl State Qualifier WILL go on Sat., Feb. 23 in Fresno, but with a location change. My salute to all the California Poultry Clubs who have voluntarily cancelled their winter shows in light of the vND outbreak. While the live-poultry portion of the GCSPF Show has been cancelled, the Avian Bowl Qualifier (held now for many years as part of the Show) will go on.


The Avian Bowl will take place on February 23, 2019 at the Greater California Society of Poultry Fanciers (GCSPF) at the Picadilly Inn Airport Hotel, 5115 E. McKinley, Fresno 9372. Avian Bowl teams must be pre-registered; the entry form link for teams can be found at: 2019 Avian Bowl State Qualifier Entry Forms . Entries must be postmarked or faxed (760-699-7056) by February 11, 2019.  Only 2 players of the same age division (Junior or Senior) are needed to make a team. There can be as many as 4 players on a team. Multiple teams in the same age division can be entered from one county. If you do not have enough 4-Hers of similar ages to field a team from your county, there is no problem in counties coming together to make a team. 

  • Junior Teams: Members must be 13 years or YOUNGER on January 1, 2019. Two, three, or four members are allowed per team.
  • Senior Teams: Member must be 14 years to 18 years by January 1, 2019. Two, three, or four members are allowed per team.

The top four individuals from the Avian Bowl State Qualifier qualify as the first place team and is eligible to represent California in the official National Avian Bowl at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference, Louisville, KY.

The avian bowl is a double elimination contest for state teams patterned after other knowledge bowls. Contestants must have a comprehensive knowledge of subject matter for several species of poultry, food safety, physiology, nutrition, eggs, and other related subjects. For more information regarding the 2019 State Avian Bowl Qualifier, please see:

Dec. 2018 Avian Science notes

Jan. 2019 Avian Science notes


Livestock Quiz Bowl

The California State 4-H Office hosts this event each year. This contest is open to both FFA and 4-H members. The top 4-H team and the top FFA team at this contest will be eligible to compete at the Western National Round Up in Denver, Colorado in January.

For more information about this state qualifying event visit:


California 4-H Horse Classic

The 2020 California 4-H Horse Classic date and location has not been set yet. Please check our Horse Classic event page for updates.


California 4-H Horse Education Contests

Date and time for the Horse Education Contests have not been scheduled. Please check our Horse Education Contest event page for updates. Educational contests taking place include: Hippology, Horse Judging, Horse Bowl, and Public Speaking. The top senior individuals in the public speaking contests, and the top four individuals in Horse Judging, Hippology and Horse Bowl will have the opportunity to represent California at the Western National Roundup in Denver, Colorado in January.


State 4-H Plant Science Contest 

The State 4-H Plant Science Contest takes place at the California 4-H State Field Day in Davis, California. The Plant Science Contest is organized into three parts: Judging, Plant Identification, and Written. It provides opportunities for youth to increase their knowledge of horticultural plants and horticultural/plant science techniques, expand their ability to identify various plants, and interact with other youth interested in plant science. 

The four highest scoring senior-age 4-H youth (15-18) will be eligible to be part of the California State 4-H Horticulture team representing California at the National Junior Horticultural Association Convention

For more information about this state qualifying event visit the State 4-H Plant Science Contest.

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