The Larimer County Dairy Cattle Project is a great way to learn about animal husbandry and overall care. Youth in the Dairy Cattle project interact with research-based information that encourages confidence, character-building, industry knowledge, and sportsmanship. Youth will can learn how to properly care for an animal and how to keep accurate records.

Why Participate in a Dairy Project:

  • Opportunity to learn about caring for a dairy cow
  • Build budgeting skills
  • Learn about accurate record-keeping

Lease a Dairy Program:

Some projects come with additional costs on top of the $50 enrollment fee. This is due to the materials or equipment you may need.

At Larimer County 4-H, we have a "Lease a Dairy" program. This means that you do not have to own a dairy animal in order to participate. This helps keep the potential costs significantly lower.

The cost to participate will vary per year, but the average cost is under $100 as long as you participate in the "Lease a Dairy" program. Any additional cost varies by the dairy sponsor and how far we have to travel to the dairy to work with the cattle.  If you choose to purchase your own dairy animal, the costs are expected to be significantly higher.

A young woman wearing white stands next to her dairy cow.
Image Credit: Jennifer Wildman

 Volunteer-run Dairy Cattle Website

The Dairy Cattle Project Volunteers maintain a dedicated project website. Check it out for another option to say up-to-date.

  • January 26, 6:30 p.m., Berthoud Room, McKee 4-H Building, The Ranch

  • February 23, 6:30 p.m., Berthoud Room, McKee 4-H Building, The Ranch

  • March 29, 6:30 p.m., Berthoud Room, McKee 4-H Building, The Ranch

  • April 26, 6:30 p.m., TR Indoor Arena Building Meeting Room, The Ranch

Inspiring youth to:

  • Explore the possibility of expanding to make a profitable enterprise
  • Learn:
    • Selection and Judging
    • Record Keeping
    • Nutrition
    • Health
    • Reproduction and Genetics
    • Quality Assurance
    • Competition
    • Consumer Awareness

Showing Your Animal and Industry Knowledge

Inspiring youth to:

  • Increase awareness about issues of animal well-being and the assurance of quality products from dairy cattle
  • Learn how to groom and show your animal and how to win and lose graciously in the show ring
  • Better understand how dairy products enter the food chain

Selecting and Raising Your Animal

Inspiring youth to:

  • Learn which characteristics to look for in a modern dairy animal
  • Learn about the costs associated with feed, equipment, and birth or purchase of an animal
  • Understand the nutrition requirements for dairy cattle at all stages of production and how to balance for maximum production
  • Learn about common diseases and parasites of dairy cattle and what to do to prevent them
  • Learn about reproductive systems of dairy cattle and how traits are passed from parents to offspring

All project manuals are received through the Larimer County 4-H Extension office. These will be distributed to 4-H members through their organizational leaders (club leaders) after enrollment is complete. For more information on enrollment visit Join 4-H.

Thinking about signing up for the Dairy Cattle Project? Already enrolled but have questions? Contact:


Bailey Schilling
4-H Livestock Agent

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Non-Discrimination Statement

Colorado State University Extension is an equal opportunity provider. Colorado State University does not discriminate on the basis of disability and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations. CSU’s Office of Engagement and Extension ensures meaningful access and equal opportunities to participate to individuals whose first language is not English. Colorado State University Extension es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

Colorado State University no discrimina por motivos de discapacidad y se compromete a proporcionar adaptaciones razonables. Office of Engagement and Extension de CSU garantiza acceso significativo e igualdad de oportunidades para participar a las personas quienes su primer idioma no es el inglés.