- Author: Megan G Osbourn
Programs such as 4-H and FFA are excellent training platforms for youth who raise livestock on a small scale. In the last two weeks nearly 800 youth across three different counties exhibited livestock at either the Yuba-Sutter Fair or the Nevada County Fair. Exhibitors ranging from 9-19 years old, have been working tirelessly over the last year to prepare project animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, poultry and swine for competition and market. The process involves more than feeding and grooming animals on a daily basis, which in itself is not always an easy task.
Jake Williams (15) of the Smartsville 4-H Club, recently exhibited and sold his seventh steer at the Yuba-Sutter Fair. As a way to market his steer, Williams, like many other exhibitors, hand-delivers letters to businesses and community members who will potentially support the Junior Livestock Auction. Such tasks develop public speaking and communication skills, and remind young people to keep the primary goal in sight. “The most important part of raising a steer is creating a quality product for the buyer,” says Williams. “It's a lot of fun and I've learned a lot, but it is definitely hard work.”
Upcoming educational opportunity:
Youth and adults looking for additional resources, can visit the 4-H Youth Development Program for free curriculum and project sheets pertaining to animal and environmental sciences. Guides for livestock care can be found for several animal species through the UC Davis, Veterinary Medicine Extension program.