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4-H Livestock Projects Teach Financial Literacy

Green and white are the colors of 4-H but what else can you think of that is green and white?  Money! So, how does 4-H livestock projects teach financial management for the youth who participate in these programs?  I am so glad you ask.  We will take a journey into the 4-H Livestock world where I will show you the $$$ and how youth learn financial management.

There are several ways for 4-H Livestock youth to earn money with their projects:

  1. One of the most common ways is through livestock market and showmanship events.  Youth can earn money base on how the animal is judges as well as how well the displayed/showed their animals.
  2. Another common way is through participating in terminal shows in which the animal is sold during the event.
  3. Youth can breed their animals and sell their offspring, or they can sell products their animal produces such as wool or eggs.
  4. Youth can also earn premium money by submitting their project record books to be judged and by participating in livestock judging events.

Now that I have tackled how 4-H Livestock youth can earn money through their projects let look at money management. The 4-H Livestock project record books have sections to record expenditures as well as income. Youth learn if the project was profitable or not.  As youth review expenditures, they have an opportunity to make decision such as if blank high-end feed is really worth the money or does a less expensive feed provides the same benefits. As most youth mature, their understanding of managing money in relationship to their project improves.  They can carry that knowledge gained from their livestock project over to other areas of their lives.   Project record book workshops assist youth in completing their project record book especially the financial portion.  At times, these workshops have been eye openers for parents.

Many of my 4-H youth shared in their project stories how they were required to invest back into their project by purchasing their show animal for the next year. I have also read how many of my 4-H youth, set higher goals for the profits from their projects such as buying a car or saving for college. Here is a great example of how one 4-Her used her livestock project to save enough money to purchase a house!

Now that I have shown the money in 4-H Livestock project, you may be interested in learning more about the animal science projects offered through Florida 4-H.  If you are interested in helping youth learn how to manage their money through their livestock project, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer.  We offer a wide variety of volunteer roles to fit your interests, skills and schedule.  Learn more at http://florida4h.org or contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office.

For more information about 4-H livestock projects, visit these links:

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Author: Yolanda Goode - yygoode@ufl.edu

4-H Youth Development Agent for Gadsden County


http://gadsden.ifas.ufl.edu