These kids right here are the hope for the future. They are involved in 4-H and FFA. This last week was our county fair. Thursday night and Friday night we decided to go out to the fair and see what was going on, especially since this is where I spent most of my summers as I was growing up. On
Thursday we watched the Clover Kids show their projects. What is a Clover Kid you ask? Well it is a child 7 years of age and younger who can’t be a 4-H member just yet but want to be involved in this wonderful world of Agriculture. Once they are Age 8 as of January 1, they’re a “big kid,” aka a 4-H member. Once you are a Freshman in high school, you have the opportunity to join FFA.
Why join either of these two organizations? Because, 1) you’re promoting the world of agriculture! Remember if it weren’t for a farmer you wouldn’t eat, that includes vegetarians! 2) It promotes Leadership. 3) It teaches kids responsibility.
Do you have to show big livestock, i.e. beef, sheep, pigs, goats? No. By all means you can get involved in the smaller livestock like chickens, turkeys, rabbits, they have a dog show, a horse show, etc… but also you can learn to sew, you can learn to cook, you can learn photography, you can learn… the list goes on. Oh…. and you can learn leadership and public speaking!
Thursday they added an event called Hearding Heros. I didn’t know what this was so I had to ask. It was started in 2015 and volunteers from the county 4-H and FFA Chapters help kids with disabilities be able to show and compete in the fair as well. They can show sheep, goats, rabbits, or hogs.
Friday night was the sale. This is where the Champions, Reserve Champions, and a certain number of other animals from each species are sold for “Premium Only.” What does that mean? Well the kids work so hard on their projects, if they make the Market sale, they “sell” their animal for a price. They don’t actually sell them, local businesses come in and “purchase” the animal. So the kid actually takes that animal home as well as a % of the money (a % of the money goes back to the fair for the next year) and the buyer takes home a photo of the animals they purchased.
The last couple years that I showed they added an addition where any company or individual can do add-ons and add any amount of money they choose to the kids earnings.
The kids then either take their animal on to exhibit in the district, state, and/or any other show of their choosing, or they take them back to the farm and turn them out to pasture, or they can take them to the sale barn. Whatever they want to do for their choosing.
The money earned usually gets reinvested in the kids project for the next year. It’s really a pretty awesome program!
Seeing all these kids working hard on their projects this last week and remember back to my years in 4-H and FFA, there is still hope for humanity!