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Future Livestock Producers are Developed through Local Livestock Shows

 

Christian Rodriguez of Live Oak, with his Brahman Heifer, Welu. Credit: Tyler Jones

Audrey Bodiford, of Jay, FL, winner of the 2017 SRC Fair & Youth Livestock Show Spirit Award.

Santa Rosa County Extension Agents have worked closely with the Santa Rosa County Fair over the last five years to grow the livestock show. The Santa Rosa County Fair (SRC Fair) is held in April each year, but requires considerable planning throughout the year. The board has many sub-committees that focus on the various events of the fair. These committees meet numerous times throughout the year planning their specific activities.  Their efforts come together on opening day to make the SRC Fair and Youth Livestock Show an enjoyable time for our area residents. With the support and efforts of the Gulf Coast Agriculture & Natural Resource Youth Organization (GCANRYO) and the Santa Rosa County Fair Board, the livestock show has grown from a handful to over 300 youth participants this year.

Jenny is just one example of how these type programs can nurture the development of life skills and passion for the livestock industry. Jenny was a very shy youth who had a passion for raising livestock. However, she struggled with communicating with adults outside her family who were prospective buyers and sponsors. She attended a buyer communication workshop that was presented at the local Extension Office. After attending the workshop, she was more comfortable pursuing financial support for her steer project. At the livestock show and sale, she informed the extension agents that she had secured a buyer for $3.00 a pound and had received over $2,500 in sponsorship’s for her project in 2016.  This year, her steer project was even more successful building on what she had learned the previous year.  At a nutrition workshop held at the beginning stages of the project year, Jenny shared that she had already secured $3,150 in sponsorship and had a buyer for her steer!  While securing auction buyers, and project sponsors is not a true commercial business model, the communication skills and self-confidence gained from this experience will aid these youth for the rest of their lives.

Livestock committees are tasked with ensuring all the infrastructure is in place for our 4-H and FFA youth to show and exhibit their livestock projects consisting of: beef cattle, swine, goats, poultry, rabbits and horses.  The 2018 SRC Fair and Youth Livestock show is just around the corner. It is open to youth across the Panhandle. If your kids, grandkids or neighbors have in interest in livestock, please share this information with them and their parents.  Offer them facilities and equipment to use for livestock projects, or just assistance getting started in the livestock industry.  Give generously of your time, talent and experience to volunteer and support your local livestock show.   Through organized shows, farmers and ranchers can make a difference in the lives of youth that  will impact them for the rest of their lives.  These are the future leaders of our communities, and in some cases of the agricultural industry in this region.  Find a way to get involved, even if only through financial contributions.

Key Upcoming Dates for the Santa Rosa County Fair:

  • Saturday, November 4, 2017 – Market Steer Weigh-in and registration – 3 pm- 5 pm
  • Saturday, January 6, 2018 – Market Hog Weigh-in and registration –  , 10 am – 12 noon
  • Livestock Show dates are:
    • March 29th – Youth Rabbit Show
    • April 1st  –  Youth Poultry Showmanship
    • April 6th – Youth Goat Shows
    • April 7th  – Youth Beef Cattle and Hog Shows

For rules and further information please visit the SRC Fair website.

PG

Author: John Doyle Atkins - srcextag@ufl.edu

John Doyle Atkins is the Agricultural Agent in Santa Rosa County.

Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/phag/2017/10/27/future-livestock-producers-are-developed-through-local-livestock-shows/