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Dustin Worthington

I Love Cows Essay Contest 2024


For the last twenty-four years a unique 4-H/FFA scholarship program was established in memory of a young Mercer Countian, Dustin Worthington, who lost his life in a car accident. Dustin was only 17 years old and dearly loved cattle. Since Dustin had decided early in his life that he did not want to attend college but rather become a cattle farmer, the "Dustin Worthington I Love Cows" essay contest was created. Over $490,000.00 in animals has been awarded to 335 Kentucky Youths.


For 2024, the program will provide a heifer calf to the essay winners. There will be both individual county contests and statewide contests. The county's contests are determined if there is a designated donor for the heifer in that county. Any youth in Kentucky may apply in the statewide contest except in counties that are awarded individually.


The contest requires the participants to write an essay that includes answers to the following questions: Briefly describe yourself, hobbies, family, 4-H/FFA membership/ activities, and personal goals after high school. Why do you want to own a cow? What care do you plan to provide the cow (facilities, feed, etc.) What do you hope to learn from this project? How will you use this animal (show or breed/herd)? And include three references.


The contest rules: Youth must be active participants of 4-H or FFA to participate. Participants who win may not apply for future awards. The form will be an online application Winners will be asked to sign a care contract and update the donor.


The Worthington family would like for this contest to continue to grow to include all counties throughout the state of Kentucky. Winners and past winners are encouraged to give back to the program by donating the firstborn heifer to continue the program for future years. The committee is also actively seeking donation heifers from other breeders throughout the state to begin the contest in the breeder's county of choice. For a complete list of rules and applications, please check the Dustin Worthington memorial website at

Click Here for Application & Recommendation Information



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