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franklin county times

Opportunities in livestock

By Staff
July 7, 2004
By Lance Bruce / 4-H livestock agent
There are many people who do not realize the opportunities that are available in the livestock industry, and many of those opportunities can begin here in the Lauderdale County 4-H Program.
Even if a youth doesn't have a show animal, that doesn't mean that can't be involved.
One of the upcoming opportunities is in livestock judging. Beginning in August, the Senior Livestock Judging Team will begin practicing for the judging contest at the Mississippi State Fair in October.
To be a senior 4-H member a youth must be between 14-18 years of age before Jan. 1, 2004. The livestock judging contest consists of selecting animals based on their quality and then delivering oral reasons as to why they were placed the way they were. The animals to be judged include beef cattle, swine and sheep.
Livestock judging can lead to many different possibilities in the future. One opportunity is to attend college on a judging scholarship. Many universities award scholarships for people who are on the judging team. By developing the skills to judge livestock, they will get a jump start to compete for one of these available scholarships.
Livestock judging also helps develop an understanding of the livestock industry. By learning how to pick quality animals, a youth can obtain skills that could be useful to ranchers in order to select quality animals for breeding programs. This would be a type of consultant that in some instances earns a good living by performing this task.
The oral reasons part of the contest aids a person in developing communication skills that will aid them in defending decisions or delivering their point of view. This is a talent that takes much practice to perfect, but will last a lifetime.
If you ask someone who was on a judging team at some point in their life they will tell you that it is was one of the best times and that the information learned and the skills they developed have stayed with them even until this day.
The senior team will begin practicing in August and if you would like more information about livestock judging contact the Lauderdale County Extension Service at 482-9764.

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