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Discuss the ins and outs of the showring.
- Trail Boss
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- Location: SW Oklahoma
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True, but nowadays, at least in this part of the country, it’s way beyond control. Even if you don’t allow fitters at a show, you can’t keep them from maxing them out before they get there so the exhibitors don’t have to do any actual clipping. It would at least make the kids do everything else, and gets the hired guns out of sight, I guess.
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I'm in Oklahoma. My daughter started in 4h then ffa. She has had grand champion rabbit 3 straight years. She now shows cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. Last Friday she won the calf scramble at the Tulsa state fair. She is buying a heifer with the certificate. Your kids could start but showing goats or dexter cattle or a bucket calf. The goat and a dairy bucket calf is the cheapest way to go. But in 4h they can do speech contest, talent show, demonstrations, and community service. My daughter does these character building projects. I do want to say that we started with cattle in 2016. She mostly competed with calves we raised as bottle calves before this year. We dont expect to win so anytime we do we are thrilled. She clips and fits her own cows. This year she has been teaching upcoming kids how to fit their calf and ring showmanship. I'm pretty proud of her.
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Around here they have to be 9 on January 1st in order to show large animals, goats - cattle, they can show small animals, chickens and rabbits prior to that. Goats or hogs are good for their first year of large animals, they can handle the goats and any kid can follow their hog around the ring (they just need to remember which one is theirs).
- Trail Boss
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- Location: Nowhere New Hampshire
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In New Hampshire the kids start at 8 years old. I've got an 8...just turned 9 year old right now in my club. She's a tiny thing but we found her a little bottle Jersey calf and it was just perfect for her. She never won a darn thing, the calf was always too small. But the calf follows her around like a puppy and she couldn't care about ribbons. Never underestimate the tenacity of some children. Goats and sheep are a great start too. I've never been a fan of showing rabbits and chickens myself.
As mentioned there is so much more to do than just livestock showing. You sometimes just have to look for it. Our state has cooking competitions, wild game cooking competition (they give us our choice of meat and judge us on how well its prepared and how clean of a job we did cooking it), cake decorating, floral design, sewing and "fashion review", I've made many dresses this way, many leadership camps and clubs. Along with those, the older your kids get they can compete to attend many national trips. Just this year many of my 4-Hers have been across the country for free. Our state pays for everything. There's a shooting sports club, and so much more.
It's my favorite youth organization and you can really get a lot out of it. Good luck.
Be decisive, wether right or wrong.
The road of life is paved with many flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision.