Beef Project

Project DescriptionBeef

Beef Project is an excellent way to learn about an important industry in Montana and the rest of the nation. Through this project, you can learn about all aspects of the beef industry, either by directly caring for a calf or by learning about beef through the 4-H achievement program in each level. You may raise a market calf or manage a breeding animal at any level. Youth wishing to enroll in Market Beef or Breeding Beef must also be enrolled in Level 1, 2, or 3. If you enroll in independent study, you are expected to have already completed the three levels of the beef project and have set some learning goals for your independent work.

Project Requirements

Project Books Required? Yes

  • Level 1 - Bite into Beef (BU8143)
  • Level 2 - Here's the Beef (BU8144)
  • Level 3 - Leading the Charge (BU8145)

Project books can be purchased here.

*** Each member must attend 2 workshops per the market project area to take your market animal to fair. Workshops are defined as an educational exercise lead by a project sup.

Project age limit? 8 and up beef 2


What needs to be accomplished to move on to level 2?

  • Learn about beef cattle- recognizing a healthy animal
  • Breed identification - locating parts of the steer
  • Judging - showmanship
  • Halter breaking & fitting a steer
  • 3 year in project

What needs to be accomplished to move on to level 3?

  • Nutrients/Feed - feed ingredients 
  • Animal Behavior
  • Judging reasons - showmanship
  • Beef carcass composition & retail meat cuts
  • 6 year in project

What needs to be accomplished to move on to the next levels?

  • Knowledge & experience about beef cattle
  • Leadership skills to help other project members
  • Animal selection, judging, health and reproduction
  • Financial records and marketing
  • 6+ years in project

Project age limit? 8 and up

What should new members know?

  • Important dates
    • Possession date: December 15th, 2023
    • Tagging forms due date: December 22nd, 2023
    • Tagging date: January 7th, 2024
  • What is expected from members to have a successful project
    • Educational workshops
      • How to care for your steer
      • Nutrient/Health
        • Calculate feed to meet fair goal
      • Fitting your animal
      • Showmanship tips & tricks
      • How to market your animal
      • Recognizing Buyers
        • Thank you notes
        • Buyers gift (optional)


  • December 16th - Quality Assurance
  • January TBD - Presentation on project expectations and Q & A
  • February 25th at 2:00 p.m. in the Bill Hamilton Building
  • March TBD
  • April Weigh In TBD
  • May Weigh In TBD and Workshop TBD
  • June Weigh In TBD and Workshop TBD
  • July Weigh In TBD

Project Superintendent Information

Beef Superintendent: Larry St. Clair & Chris Petre
Contact: 406-465-4524 & 406-439-8371

How will you be contacted? Email

Junior Superintendents: Carter Petre and Sara Dearing


Possession date: Friday, December 15th, 2023

Tagging form(s) due: Friday, December 22nd, 2023 by 5:00 p.m.

Tagging date: Sunday, January 7, 2024
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Bill Hamilton Building Scale House

Beef Tagging Form

Rate of Gain Requirements(PDF, 31KB)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and the Montana State University Extension Service prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status. Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Director of Extension, Extension Service, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717