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Program offers valuable life skills

By By Justin Rodgers / 4-H youth agent
Nov. 3, 2002
Looking for a way to teach your children to be more responsible and help them gain valuable life skills?
Look into the Lauderdale County 4-H Livestock Program. The 4-H Livestock Program offers many activities for youth of all ages including showing market steers, lambs, hogs, market goats and registered and commercial cattle.
Youth can compete in activities at the county, district, state and national levels. Rewards include an increased appreciation of the livestock industry on our lives and recognition in the form of awards, prizes, trips and even college scholarships.
I am looking forward to the 2003 livestock show season. The number of Livestock Club participants is steadily increasing, as well as the number of animals being shown.
The deadline for ownership for lambs and steers has already passed, but it's not too late to participate with market hogs and registered and commercial cattle.
If you are interested in participating, we need to get the ball rolling on your projects. The deadline for purchasing hogs and commercial and registered cattle is Dec. 1.
This is a program that will require involvement from one or both parents. You may not know a lot about showing livestock or livestock in general, but I will be glad to assist you in any way if you are interested in participating.
The County Show and Sale will be at the end of January at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center. There will be buyers from different businesses who will purchase the market animals. We greatly appreciate the support of these businesses because without them this program could not be successful.
In addition to the animal projects, related activities such as judging, visual demonstrations, cookout contests, meat bowl, dairy bowl and others are part of the 4-H Livestock Program and contribute to the development of youth.
The mission objectives of 4-H are to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that will let them become productive and contributing members of society.
These skills are much more than physical skills and are a combination of acting, thinking and feeling. They help 4-H'ers function as adults in society and accept responsibilities, gain ability to communicate, solve problems, make decisions and work with people
The 4-H Livestock Program is a way to use live animals to develop youth. The main objectives of the program deal with the young person, not the animal.
Youth learn about agriculture and livestock production, and they develop an appreciation for the livestock industry. But the main objectives are to teach life skills and help youth become productive citizens of our society.
The experience of youth owning and working with animals; being responsible for their care, health, and growth; and exhibiting them in a competitive environment is a tremendous character-building process.
For more information on the 4-H Livestock Program, contact the Lauderdale County Extension Office at 482-9764.