4H and FFA students preparing for new stock show season

Local 4H and FFA students started preparing for the new stock show season this summer. For some this preparation began with selecting their new steer; others cleaning and preparing the barn for new arrivals.

For students, animal projects represent a large financial investment. For those purchasing “open” steers, swine, market lambs, and market goats the price can run 1,000s of dollars.

The Walter Gerlach Board of Directors provided an affordable opportunity for 4H and FFA students to participate in the local livestock show. The organization developed relationships and agreements with livestock producers to provide a large group of uniformed project animals for purchase at a fraction of the cost of “open” animals.

Students wishing to participate are entered into a lottery system and are allowed to select their animal in the order of the draw.

This summer students selected their steers, in late August students selected market sheep and goats. This past weekend, students selected their market swine projects.

Now that students have selected their projects the work begins.

It’s important to note that those students exhibiting poultry and rabbits will select their projects roughly six weeks before the Gerlach show in January.

4H and FFA exhibitors will now spend their free time feeding, grooming, exercising and training their project animals to prepare for the Gerlach show in January.

Students in 4H and FFA learn valuable lessons about responsibility, the value of work, money management, and make vital contributions to the local community.

Many of the exhibitors purchased their project animals with funds from previous stock show auctions.

These students create a budget, track their expenses, invest in food and supplies for the animal, and prepare for any veterinarian expenses that may be necessary. These students hope to recover their expenses and earn a profit to prepare for the next year.

When a 4H or FFA student graduates from High School many have earned money to contribute to the cost of their post-secondary education.

The Walter Gerlach show is open to the public and will happen in January. Come out and support these hardworking students and we will have articles and updates throughout the year as the 4H and FFA students raise their project.

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