Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

DNA Testing To Be Used To Keep 4-H Participants Honest

After a recent legal battle and several other factors, South Dakota’s 4-H Youth Development program will use DNA testing to ensure participants are being honest in their livestock entries. The state’s 4-H Livestock Show Management Coordinator Rod Geppert says 4-H strives to help youth learn that their competition entries should be a long-term project, not an animal chosen a week before a show.

“Everything about 4-H is about taking care of a project, working with it and learning those things way before a show. And those are the important things. I mean, it’s been happening for years, you know, or at least there’s been talk that oh, there’s some tag switching going on and things like that. You always hear some of those rumors that some of those animals weren’t in possession of those individuals that are showing. There have been several people that have called over the years. So we decided to go with, especially on the market animal side, to go with the DNA process just to help with that factor that maybe if there is anything going on, at least there’s a way  that we can prove that those animals are the same, says Geppert.”

The new rule has stemmed in part from a legal issue with a White Lake man whose daughter has been banned from 4-H competition for breaking the program’s code of ethics. The daughter allegedly showed a hog that had already competed at the Missouri State Fair. Geppert says the legal battle is still in progress.