The annual Animal Crackers program provides New York youth with fun, hands-on, science-oriented learning experiences on Animal Science topics. This workshop is for 4-H members interested in learning more about their favorite livestock, companion or pet animal species; emphasis on different species groupings and activities varies annually. Participants will learn about different aspects of animal care, interact and exchange information with faculty, staff, students, professional producers, industry experts, and more, utilizing the unique facilities of Cornell University. Hands-on workshops are planned for each species group.
When/Where: This Saturday workshop is held every May on the Cornell campus (Morrison Hall – 507 Tower Rd, Ithaca, NY 14853). Check-in begins at 9am
Who: The program is geared to 4-H members involved in animal science projects. Youth are strongly encouraged to attend with their parents or chaperones. Suggested age range is 9-12, however, all youth 9 and up are welcome.
Why: This is a unique opportunity for youth to experience hands-on activities in a university setting, explore career options in animal science, and expand their knowledge through scientific inquiry.
How: Please contact your county 4-H office for details and registration. Registration is handled through county 4-H offices.
Cost: The cost of $15.00 per youth billed directly to Cornell county accounts to cover basic handout and occasional presenter expenses. There is no registration fee for chaperones.
Participants must bring their own lunch and drinks. The closest place to purchase food is a 5 minute drive from campus.
Each year an opening presentation kicks off the event with a welcoming statement or remarks related to the annual theme. Livestock production themes are usually offered in even years and Horse programs are rotated in odd years. A noon-time demonstration and closing program is also typically featured.
Workshop presenters and topics are selected by a planning committee that looks at trends and current issues. Youth input on topics is also solicited through statewide advisory committees and educator feedback.
Registrations are due 3 weeks prior to the event for planning purposes.
Examples of some of the fun things participants have experienced in the past: The Cornell Raptor Program, ultrasound technology, Herding dogs at work, Disc dogs in action, barrel racing, driving, poop soup, and more!