Starting kids in 4H

Discuss the ins and outs of the showring.
ValleyView
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 10:55 pm
Location: Winchester, Ok
Has thanked: 114 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Starting kids in 4H

Post by ValleyView » 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!


First generation Cow Calf producer.

Easier to learn when you don’t know much!

VVCC

User avatar
Son of Butch
GURU
GURU
Posts: 6356
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:44 pm
Location: Frost Bite Falls, Minnesota
Has thanked: 210 times
Been thanked: 420 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Son of Butch » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:42 am

1st graders - bunny rabbits
Lion taming, Clydesdale horses and brewing specialty beers should all wait until their teen years. :)

User avatar
sstterry
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:04 am
Location: Bulls Gap, TN
Has thanked: 692 times
Been thanked: 462 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by sstterry » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:17 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!
They are starting early now. We could not join 4-H until 4th grade (State winner here). Lambs are a good start for about 4th grade and then graduate up to steers in Jr. high.

ValleyView
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 10:55 pm
Location: Winchester, Ok
Has thanked: 114 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by ValleyView » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:35 pm

Yeah I’m not sure if all schools in OK start that early or if it’s unique to theirs.

Lambs would be great bc then I could justify buying something that would eat Sericea Lespedeza instead of strictly spraying it!

We’re excited to get them involved and keep them away from all the Da@& electronics and what not.
First generation Cow Calf producer.

Easier to learn when you don’t know much!

VVCC

User avatar
Bigfoot
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 12599
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:31 pm
Location: Kentucky
Has thanked: 222 times
Been thanked: 356 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Bigfoot » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:56 pm

Ours showed goats at that age. I hate goats, and hope I never own another. i will say it was a great project for that age. they can handle everything about the animal by then. They can carry enough water or feed to be sufficient.
Your not a small business owner. Your a stay at home mom trapped in a pyramid scheme.

User avatar
TCRanch
GURU
GURU
Posts: 4393
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:21 am
Location: Winfield, KS
Has thanked: 1088 times
Been thanked: 504 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by TCRanch » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:48 pm

The younger kids around here show goats and even dogs. Neighbor girl showed her 3 legged dog & came in 2nd.

DLD
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:12 pm
Location: SW Oklahoma
Has thanked: 150 times
Been thanked: 27 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by DLD » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:27 pm

In OK they will be able to show anything at OYE in March at age 8. I think Tulsa State Fair has gone to 8 also, but it could still be 9. I believe you can show breeding gilts at those shows at an earlier age, but I’m not sure what that is - I’m pretty 6 anyway, maybe younger. There is also a miniature Hereford class available at both OYE and Tulsa and probably the State Fair too, that allows much younger kids - again I’m not sure exactly how young, I’m thinking maybe 4. In these classes it’s encouraged for the youngest exhibitors to be accompanied by a parent or an older sibling in the ring. It’s probably a good place to start if you want to start with cattle. Kids are all different, as are animals - you have to try to be objective about what your child is ready for. Our kids all started at 5-6 years old with cattle, just younger, smaller ones, and we got along well with that. But, if I had it to do over we’d probably have shown some goats or sheep to start out with.

ValleyView
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 10:55 pm
Location: Winchester, Ok
Has thanked: 114 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by ValleyView » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:47 pm

Bigfoot wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:56 pm
Ours showed goats at that age. I hate goats, and hope I never own another. i will say it was a great project for that age. they can handle everything about the animal by then. They can carry enough water or feed to be sufficient.
Haha, thanks for the info! I’ve been around a few of them and helped work some but can’t say I like them or hate them. But as it goes, all things are subject to change! I’ll reserve the right to change my mind at a later date!
First generation Cow Calf producer.

Easier to learn when you don’t know much!

VVCC

ValleyView
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 10:55 pm
Location: Winchester, Ok
Has thanked: 114 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by ValleyView » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:50 pm

DLD wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:27 pm
In OK they will be able to show anything at OYE in March at age 8. I think Tulsa State Fair has gone to 8 also, but it could still be 9. I believe you can show breeding gilts at those shows at an earlier age, but I’m not sure what that is - I’m pretty 6 anyway, maybe younger. There is also a miniature Hereford class available at both OYE and Tulsa and probably the State Fair too, that allows much younger kids - again I’m not sure exactly how young, I’m thinking maybe 4. In these classes it’s encouraged for the youngest exhibitors to be accompanied by a parent or an older sibling in the ring. It’s probably a good place to start if you want to start with cattle. Kids are all different, as are animals - you have to try to be objective about what your child is ready for. Our kids all started at 5-6 years old with cattle, just younger, smaller ones, and we got along well with that. But, if I had it to do over we’d probably have shown some goats or sheep to start out with.
Very good info, I’m thinking it may best to wait for them to show cattle for the time being and start with something else.
First generation Cow Calf producer.

Easier to learn when you don’t know much!

VVCC

ValleyView
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 10:55 pm
Location: Winchester, Ok
Has thanked: 114 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by ValleyView » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:54 pm

TCRanch wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:48 pm
The younger kids around here show goats and even dogs. Neighbor girl showed her 3 legged dog & came in 2nd.
Haha, nice! I’ll keep my dad jokes to myself on that one!
First generation Cow Calf producer.

Easier to learn when you don’t know much!

VVCC

User avatar
Jeanne - Simme Valley
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 11461
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:46 am
Location: Central Upstate New York
Has thanked: 765 times
Been thanked: 1062 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:30 am

When we lived in Kansas (many years ago), my 7 year old daughter started with a hog project.
Sheep, goats, hogs, dogs, chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits. Lots of great animal projects for little ones.
Funny, now that I think about it, no one shows cats???? I have been involved with 4-H juniors for ?? almost 50 years and I can't remember any cats/kittens at a fair. That's strange.
Anyway, you have the right idea. Keeping kids involved in something that HAVE to take care of and work with is great. Teaches them responsibility and work ethics.
But, YOU have to learn HANDS OFF. Too many parents make it "their project" instead of the kids. I've been an advisor for many, many years. Kids don't learn if the parent does the work.
Simme Valley of New York - http://www.SimmeValley.com
"We make a living by what we get,
we make a life by what we give."

User avatar
sstterry
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:04 am
Location: Bulls Gap, TN
Has thanked: 692 times
Been thanked: 462 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by sstterry » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:27 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:30 am

Funny, now that I think about it, no one shows cats???? I have been involved with 4-H juniors for ?? almost 50 years and I can't remember any cats/kittens at a fair. That's strange.
Have you ever tried to put a halter on a cat???
But you are 100% correct on the parents hands-off (supervise for safety only). It teaches responsibility and pride in their work!

User avatar
Jeanne - Simme Valley
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 11461
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:46 am
Location: Central Upstate New York
Has thanked: 765 times
Been thanked: 1062 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:57 pm

LOL - my in-laws traveled in a camper and had a cat that they would put on a lead. It worked.
I started our "Fall Festival" 28 years ago. I was ADAMANT that parents did not do the work. I posted signs "Parents - Hands OFF - you could get your child disqualified". I "retired" about 3 years ago. Now, new advisors don't think there is anything wrong with the parents doing the work. That's because he grew up doing all his brother's & sister's fitting - and still does it - at 4-H shows.
Simme Valley of New York - http://www.SimmeValley.com
"We make a living by what we get,
we make a life by what we give."

DLD
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:12 pm
Location: SW Oklahoma
Has thanked: 150 times
Been thanked: 27 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by DLD » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:53 pm

I think the kids need to do all they can, and always strive to learn and be able to do more next time, but at the same time I don’t have a problem with parents, older siblings, etc... helping. They learn by watching and doing - I pull one back leg, the kid pulls the other and tries to get it to match mine. In time, if the kid has the want to, I’m the one that has to work to make my side match theirs. And if a kid has multiple animals, they may need a parent to bring that next one to the ring or get their steer up while they’re showing their heifer. For us it’s always been a family activity, from breeding/selection all the way through.

Besides all that, every show we go to here is covered up with jocks and fitters, and in many cases the kids don’t do much besides show. We’re not going to do it that way, but when we have to compete with it, if Dad or big brother is the best fitter we got, they’re definitely going to be in on the fine tuning. If you want to discourage a kid, let them look a couple aisles over at a row of chutes, lit up like an operating room, with 2-4 professionals working on every calf, then say “You’re on your own son - good luck”. I can’t do that to my kids, or the ones I sell calves to either.

User avatar
Jeanne - Simme Valley
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 11461
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:46 am
Location: Central Upstate New York
Has thanked: 765 times
Been thanked: 1062 times

Re: Starting kids in 4H

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:40 pm

But, if NO ONE is allowed to hire fitters, than it is an even competition. That is the way the youth shows SHOULD be. I agree, they are not. Shame on all us parents that let it get to this.
Simme Valley of New York - http://www.SimmeValley.com
"We make a living by what we get,
we make a life by what we give."

Post Reply