Oklahoma Dexter Cattle Association Youth Heifer Program

The purpose of this program is to aid youth in getting started in the Dexter Cattle business, by awarding heifer calves to program participants on the basis of merit, future goals and the ability to care for the animal.  Any Oklahoma youth, ages 9-15 as of January 1st of the current year, who is a 4-H or FFA member may apply.  Previous winners of the ODCA youth heifer chain are ineligible.  All applications will be reviewed by an independent selection committee.  

Each program participant will own their heifer jointly with the ODCA until completion of the program, at which time the participant will receive full ownership of the heifer and her offspring.

Each program participant will be responsible for raising the calf, arranging for her to be bred (AI or naturally) with help from their ODCA mentor, and provide an annual report about their heifer at the fall ODCA meeting in October for two years.

Return completed form to:

Rick Harvey

ODCA Youth Heifer Program

9171 N 68th Ave

Sperry Oklahoma 74073



  1. Open to any youth, ages 8 – 15 as of January 1st, who reside in the state of Oklahoma.
  2. Youth must be enrolled in 4-H or FFA and stay enrolled in 4-H/FFA while participating in the project.
  3. Heifers must reside in Oklahoma until completion of project.

General Requirements:

  1. All expenses for nutrition and health of the heifer will be paid for by the participant.
  2. Should follow all vaccination/de-worming guidelines provided by the Oklahoma Dexter Cattle Association (ODCA).
  3. Liability insurance for the heifer must be covered under the participant or participant’s family insurance policy.

Showing of Animal:

  1. Participants in the program are required to show their heifer 4 times a year.  The youth will show the heifer at two local/county shows,  the OYE and the Tulsa Open Dexter Show or at the ADCA AGM.
  2. Participants are encouraged to show heifer at additional shows.
  3. ODCA will pay the entry fee for the ADCA AGM youth show (open show may be entered, but will not be paid for by ODCA) and/or any ODCA sponsored show for the first two years of the project.  Transportation and any other expensed associated with these shows will be at the participant’s expense.  Participants may keep any prize monies that they receive from showing.

Breeding of Heifer:

  1. All heifers in the program must be bred to a ADCA registered, genotyped Dexter bull.  
  2. All efforts will be made to secure donated bull services, but if none are available, participants will pay all breeding expenses.
  3. All heifers should calf no sooner than two years of age.
  4. After two artificial insemination attempts and two natural service attempts, or four natural service attempts, if the heifer is still unbred, the heifer will be considered a non-breeder.  The participant’s offspring obligation will be waved, but all other obligations will continue to complete the project.

Heifer Offspring:

  1. The first offspring from the heifer will be given back to the ODCA when weaned at 6 months old.
  1. If this offspring is a heifer, it will be passed on to another participant.
  2. If this offspring is a bull, it will be sold, with the proceeds going to the ODCA to be used for the purchase of another project heifer.
  1. Offspring feed and vet care will be paid by participant until the time of the transfer to the ODCA.
  2. Offspring will at the least, be halter broken before it is given to the ODCA.
  3. Offspring may be shown by participant up until time of transfer to ODCA.  Entry fees will be paid by participant, but participant may keep any prize monies they receive from showing.

Completion of Project:

  1. Project will be completed when the participant has owned the heifer for a period of three years and transferred an offspring to the ODCA.
  2. After completion of the project, the project heifer and any subsequent offspring become the property of the participating youth.

Termination of Project:

  1. Participants will be responsible for the cost of replacing the animal if death is caused by neglect or if animal is not properly confined, at a cost of no less than $1000.
  2. The ODCA guarantees the heifer through 12 months after delivery.  If a heifer dies of natural causes and not due to any negligence of the participant in the first 12 months of ownership, the committee will replace with a heifer as soon as another animal becomes available.
  3. If the committee reclaims a heifer because a participant does not fulfill the guidelines of the program, or if the participant is no longer able to care for, keep, or wants to continue participation in the program, the heifer/cow will be returned to the project.  
  4. Participants will not be reimbursed for any incurred expenses.

ODCA Youth Heifer Chain Application

  1. Only complete and signed applications will be accepted for review.
  2. Youth, parent and 4-H/FFA leader or ODCA mentor must sign applications.
  3. The independent evaluation committee will review all completed applications.




Parent or Guardian Name: _______________________________________________________________

Phone:_______________________________  Birth date:_____________________  Age:______________

Membership in:         4-H               FFA        Club name or chapter:_________________________________

Where do you plan to keep this heifer?_____________________________________________________


Acres of Pasture:______________________________

Do you or your family have other livestock?   Yes            No

If yes, what kind?_______________________________________________________________________

What vet do you plan to use or do you already have a vet? Name________________________________


Do you have a water source? (circle all the apply)      Creek      Pond      Tanks      Other:_______________

Type of fencing used:    Barbed wire            Woven Wire          Electric Fence         Wooden Fence

Do you have transportation for heifer when needed?        Yes                  No

List any other information that you think the committee should be made aware of:

Write an essay that includes the following (minimum 1 page, maximum 2 pages)

  1. Briefly describe yourself, hobbies, family, 4-H/FFA membership and activities, personal goals.
  2. Why do you want to own an Irish Dexter heifer?
  3. What care do you plan to provide to heifer (facilities, feed, etc)
  4. What do you hope to learn from this project?
  5. How do you plan to use this animal after the end of the program?

Please attach two letters of recommendation, one from your 4-H leader or FFA advisor and the other from an adult, who is not related to you, but knows you well enough to comment on your abilities and commitment.

Applicant:  I have read the rules and agree to abide by them.  I am a 4-H or FFA member in good standing.  I am between the ages of 8-15, and I understand that I am responsible for the feed and care of this heifer, if awarded.  


Applicant’s Signature

As a parent or guardian, I give my permission for my child to participate in this program and have read and understand the rules and requirements of the ODCA Heifer Chain program and agree to assist my child in any way necessary for the completion of the project.  I acknowledge that there are inherent risks in working with cattle and that neither the Oklahoma Dexter Cattle Association, its officers or members will be held liable for any injury or death from participating in this program.  In the event my son/daughter does not fulfill his/her obligations and responsibilities under this agreement, I will certify that I will take no legal action nor make any claim against the Oklahoma Dexter Cattle Association.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________Parent or Guardian Signature

Mentor’s testimony:  The facilities for raising a calf and the abilities of the applicant are adequate to successfully complete this project.  The applicant meets the age and membership requirements as set forth in the rules and regulations.


ODCA member/4-H leader/FFA advisor signature                                                                                   Contact phone number