Activities are youth centered and include opportunities for the application of knowledge and skills at three different levels of experience: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Topics Include:

  • budgeting decisions
  • dietary needs of pigs
  • pre-show preparation; showmanship; and judging
  • ethical decision-making in caring for and showing swine

Overview

Webinar Recording

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Overview

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Activity 1

Rutgers Cooperative Extension: Character Development in 4‑H

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Activity 2

Behaviour Profiles of Domestic Animals: Pigs

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Activity 3

Crossbreeding Systems

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Swine Crossbreeding Systems

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UC Davis, Veterinary Medicine

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Activity 4

4‑H Swine Project Guide

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Desirable Traits of a Hog

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Parts of a Pig

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Viewing Swine Conformation

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Activity 5

Raising Pigs at HomeResources on Swine Housing, Care, and Welfare

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Activity 6

Swine Fact Sheets

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Activity 7

USDA’s Animal Welfare Information Center

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Activity 8

Learn to take a pig’s heart rate

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Learn proper techniques to take a pig’s body temperature using a rectal thermometer:

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Activity 10

Animal Health Monitoring and Surveillance

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Swine Care Practices

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Activity 11

Signs and Symptoms of Swine Disease

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Activity 12

Bio-Security and Your Pig Project

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Risk Management for Livestock Enterprises

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Information Sheets

Fitting and Showing Your 4‑H Pig

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The Basics of Swine Showmanship

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Raising a Hog for Showmanship

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Iowa State University Guide to Livestock Judging

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Missouri 4‑H Guide to Livestock Judging

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Swine Diets

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Swine Nutrition Guide

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Youth will enjoy naming breeds, learning swine body parts, judging market hogs, exploring a digestive system, examining a healthy pig, identifying pork cuts, practice fitting & showing & many other activities. Grades 3-5.

Are You Ready to Learn More About Pigs?

Through the activities in this guide, you will have many interesting and exciting challenges. You’ll learn about pig parts, breeds, cost of raising pigs, how to care for your pigs and much, much more. If you don’t already have pigs, some of the activities will help you decide whether or not you want to take pigs as a 4‑H project. Each activity asks you to do something. Don’t be afraid to jump right in, and don’t give up if the activity doesn’t work out the first time. You’re still learning, right? The most important thing is to try. Once you try, then think or talk about what happened or didn’t happen and why. Learning about pigs isn’t all you will be doing. You’ll also be learning about yourself, too.

Many of the things you’ll learn are skills you’ll use in your life, such as:

Speaking to groups
Working with other people
Making decisions
Being responsible
Planning and organizing
Learning to learn

Learner Outcomes

Swine 1 Project Guidelines
NEED BULLET LIST
Do a minimum of seven activities in Level 1 of the Swine Achievement Program each year.
Complete Level 1 within three years.
Practice and develop the life skills of relating to others, making decisions, learning to learn and communicating with others.
Participate in a minimum of three of the learning experiences listed on Setting Goals each year.
Increase your swine knowledge and skills.

Swine 1 Achievement Program
Do a minimum of seven activities in Level 1 of the Swine Achievement Program each year.
Complete Level 1 within three years.
Practice and develop the life skills of relating to others, making decisions, learning to learn and communicating with others.
Participate in a minimum of three of the learning experiences listed on Setting Goals each year.
Increase your swine knowledge and skills.

Your Project Helper

On your team supporting you and making learning more fun is your project helper. This person may be a parent, swine breeder, project leader or advisor, a neighbor or an older friend who knows about pigs. The choice is yours. As you do the activities, you’ll discuss with your helper what you did and the questions in the “Talk it Over” part of each activity. Sometimes your helper will need to work with you to identify resources, including people, organizations, events, magazines and books necessary to complete an activity. Once you have successfully completed each activity, your helper will date and initial your achievement program.

Chapter 1: Selection and Judging

Swine Study Group Notes

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Labeled Parts of the Pig

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Pig Parts Game

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Chapter 3: Nutrition and Carcass

National Meat Institute

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Chapter 4: Beyond the Pen

National Pork Board

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Activities in Swine 2 include managing baby pigs, balancing a ration, exploring swine diseases, preparing pork, discovering swine careers and packing a show box. Grades 6-8.

Let's Get Started

This guide is an important part of the swine project. Swine 2 offers you new challenges and opportunities to explore a wide range of activities related to swine. You’ll also have fun meeting new people, becoming better acquainted with your community and expanding your interests and goals. Like Swine 1, an achievement program is included to guide your efforts and provide you an opportunity to be recognized for meeting your goals. You’ll be surprised at the many fun and interesting things you’ll learn. Don’t be afraid to jump right in, and don’t give up if the activity doesn’t work out the first time. You’re still learning, right? The most important thing is to try. Once you try, then think and talk about what happened or didn’t happen, and why.

Learner Outcomes

Swine 2 Project Guidelines

Do a minimum of seven activities in Level 2 of the Swine Achievement Program each year.
Complete Level 2 within three years from the time you begin.
Practice and develop the life skills of making decisions, leading self and others, relating to change and planning and organizing.
Participate in a minimum of five of the learning experiences listed on the Planning Guide each year.
Keep the Planning Guide current by setting project goals and recording project highlights you experience.
Increase your swine knowledge and skills.

Swine 2 Achievement Program

The activities will challenge you to explore areas of the project you perhaps haven’t experienced before. Do your best to complete each activity and answer the questions. Work with your helper to complete each experience. You may need additional resources to complete some of the activities. Swine magazines, books, tapes, commodity groups, feed and equipment manufacturers and marketing groups are good resources. The library will also have several references to help you.

Your Project Helper

The choice is yours! The person you choose to be your project helper needs to be willing to support your efforts to complete Level 2 of the Swine Achievement Program. Your helper will meet with you to set goals, plan activities, suggest resources to use, discuss each activity with you and date and initial your achievement program each time you have successfully completed and activity.

Chapter 2: Management and Health

Pig Health

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Chapter 3: Nutrition and Carcass

Nutrition

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Chapter 4: Beyond the Pen

Ontario Pork

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National Pork Producers Council

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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.

By now you are probably an expert on pigs, or certainly know more than you did when you started this project. Whether you raise one or several pigs, you are in an excellent position to share your experiences with others. Going Whole Hog provides several opportunities for you to develop your leadership skills as you strive to complete the Swine 3 Achievement Program. You’ll also find activities to help you develop a business, explore careers and teach others.

Learner Outcomes

Swine 3 Project Guidelines

Do a minimum of seven activities in Level 3 of the Swine Achievement Program each year.
Complete this level within three years. Participate in a minimum of five of the learning experiences listed each year.
Practice and develop the life skills of leading others, making decisions, planning and communicating while you learn to take risks, think creatively, use community resources, explore careers and take responsibility.
Keep the Planning Guide current including project goals and listing project highlights as they occur.
Share your swine knowledge and skills with others.
Have fun!


Swine 3 Achievement Program

If you have completed levels 1 and 2, you know each chapter contains swine-related activities that encourage you to practice a certain life skill while doing the activity. In many cases, because this is an activity guide and not a resource manual, you will need to research other sources of information to complete a particular activity. The page of swine resources in the back of your guide is a good place to start, but you’ll also want to work closely with your project helper.

Remember this is your own personal guide. Feel free to use it to record your thoughts and ideas. Most questions will not have a “right” answer. The questions will help you explore the subject and your own ideas in more depth. Additional activities are included in Swine Helper’s Guide. Many of these are fun experiences for you to use with other youth as you develop your leadership skills.

Your Project Helper

You may choose your own helper. This person might be a project leader or advisor, teacher, family member, neighbor, friend or anyone who has the interest to work with you to complete Level 3. You’ll meet with your helper as you set goals, plan and complete activities in this guide. Discussing each activity with your helper and having this person date and initial your achievement program will make this project more interesting and fun.

Chapter 1: Selection and Judging

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Breeds of Swine

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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.

Being a Project Helper

A young person has asked you to serve as his/her helper for this level of the Swine Project. You may be a family member, project leader or advisor, teacher or a neighbor. Your role in guiding, encouraging and rewarding progress is very important. How you choose to be involved will often determine the success the youth has in developing important life skills while learning what pigs are all about. The youth’s interest in swine is the vehicle leading to life skill development. You’ll find that these guides are designed to encourage active involvement and exploration rather than simply providing answers.

Your Role
NEED BULLET LIST
Review the Swine Helper’s Guide.
Support youth in his/her efforts to set goals and complete the Swine Program.
Serve as a resource person to help connect youth with the community, resource materials and others knowledgeable about the project.

Developing Life Skills

To be successful in your role as a 4‑H Swine Project Leader or Helper, there are important concepts that deserve your attention and understanding.

Ages and Stages of Youth Development

As you work with young people, it is important to take into account where they are in their stage of development. Not all people develop in the same way at the same age. But there are certain patterns within youth development that are commonly expressed by most youth. Understanding these characteristics will help you better reach and teach your audience.

Basic Life Skill Development

As a helper for the swine project, one of your primary goals is to help youth gain knowledge about swine. However, it is equally important to emphasize the learning of “life skills.” These skills transfer beyond the actual activity. Life skills are critical in helping young people become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. The Targeting Life Skills (TLS) Model (Hendricks, 1996), identifies and divides the major life skills targeted in 4‑H youth development by the four H’s from the 4‑H clover that represent Head, Heart, Hands and Health. These four are further divided into categories and then into specific life skills as shown.

Project Activity Guides

This project activity guide is a part of the 4‑H “Skills for Life” Animal Science Series. The three youth guides in the swine series are designed for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners respectively. 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.

Each guide is organized with four chapters:

1. Selection and Judging
2. Management and Health
3. Nutrition and Carcass
4. Beyond the Pen