Starting kids in 4H

Discuss the ins and outs of the showring.
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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by DLD » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:36 pm

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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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by darcelina4 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:05 pm

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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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by VCC » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:09 pm

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).

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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by OwnedByTheCow » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:00 am

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.
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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Lucky_P » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:08 am

OBTC,
I was surprised to see that NH has a 4H working steer/oxen program, with a pretty nice handbook online... been wanting to train a pair for decades and finally have time; ran across the NH 4H deal recently...have seen a few 4H kids with started/trained pairs of working steers for sale on oxen-related FB pages

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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:43 pm

Maine also has a big oxen following.
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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Lucky_P » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:01 am

Most of the oxen activity I see online is in the Northeast...particularly VT, NH, ME.
I'd not realized that there was a 4-H Oxen program until I ran across the NH 4-H Oxen handbook while doing some searching recently.

Midwest Ox Drovers Assn./Tillers International are headquartered in MI, IIRC.

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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Porkchopfat » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:21 pm

We had great luck starting with chickens. I called them broilers little velociraptors. Sure was a good laugh watching the kids trying to get the feed in those "rain gutter" feed troughs with the chickens underfoot. They then chose their projects from year 2 and forward.
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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by SBMF 2015 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:02 am

Youth shows should all be showmanship classes. My best friend and I have had this conversation several times; Do we pull the best calf out of the feedlot and teach the kids that you "shouldn't buy a win" or do we take his donor cow breed her cluby, and get some ET club calves and teach the kids that " that ribbon or county fair trophy is all that counts" ?
My kids may never win a steer show, but they are going to learn that hard work pays off. And in a showmanship class they will be a force to contend with.

A lot of 4H kids with a cattle background start by showing bottle calves. That's what we did. It's broken up by age groups so all the younger kids just starting out show together.

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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:25 pm

I am a STRONG supporter of Showmanship. Best class ever. It's the kids work, not the Dad's checkbook.
At one of our Junior shows, they put grooming chutes in the ring along the outside. Each age group gets 20 minutes to "fit" their own animal, then take it out of the chute and are judged on showmanship & fitting. Love it.
Another way we do it, is give the judge 10 cards (sometimes he needs more). As he judges the different age groups, he can give out 1, 2 or 3 cards to his pick as being the "best" in class (he places classes like normal, but picks out the TOP kids). The top 10 kids that get a card, have a grooming chute brought into the ring and they fit their own animal. Then, the judge places the 10 kids based on their showmanship & fitting.
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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by OwnedByTheCow » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:00 pm

Lucky_P wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:01 am
Most of the oxen activity I see online is in the Northeast...particularly VT, NH, ME.
I'd not realized that there was a 4-H Oxen program until I ran across the NH 4-H Oxen handbook while doing some searching recently.

Midwest Ox Drovers Assn./Tillers International are headquartered in MI, IIRC.

4-H does not recognize it as a program only an interest. If more states did it hopefully they will move it to a project.
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Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by sim.-ang.king » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:45 pm

ValleyView wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:57 pm
My wife and I recently enrolled our kids (1st grade and Kindergarten), almost Irish twins :D in 4H. We have a small cow calf operation, but don’t own any other animals currently. My goal is to eventually raise a calf or two of high enough quality to show and we’ll get there eventually.

In your experience(s), what is a good animal to show at those ages? Neither my wife nor I showed growing up. I’m sure we’ll learn at the first meeting, but thought you all my have some advice on what to do or what not to do!

Thanks!
1st grade's the best time to get them started showing big wild heifers. Then when they're about 4th or 5th grade they'll know how to break them, and also be tougher than nails. That would be also a good time to start training them for their bull riding career. :cowboy:




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