2022 has proven to be a different year for us all, with different challenges, and our Jr. Livestock preparation has been no exception. With shortages of many goods and resources across the country, purchasing animals to raise for this year’s auction has proven to be a challenge. Nonetheless, our devoted youth residents are still in positive preparation for this year’s Jr. Livestock event at the County Fair in August.
This beloved Weber County program put together by 4H and FFA gives children the opportunity to hone in on many important skills and responsibilities at an early age. Participants’ ages range everywhere from 3rd-graders to high school seniors. Although the commitment to raise an animal shouldn’t be taken lightly, it is instilling our future generation with tools for success.
This opportunity teaches kids how to raise and sell the animal, routinely care for them, and budget for feed, supplements, and equipment. The kids are required to keep a record of these transactions in their account stored in a portfolio. At the end of the year, each participant turns in the portfolio, showing this record of work in order to receive their check after the sale.
Auction processes in livestock programs vary from county to county. In Weber County, they are not provided their own buyers; they must bring their own. This adds more of a challenge to participants, although, in the end, more rewards. As Weber County’s Junior Livestock Program is a terminal program, the auction and sale are paramount to the ongoing success of our youth participants. We encourage support and participation from our residents and offer options to help our youth succeed. Our “Booster” program at every auction will allow donors to give any desired amount to increase the sale of that animal.
The show portion of the event has two classes: Market class and Showmanship class. Market class judges each animal in categories such as its muscle mass, bone structure, stature and movement, and overall market value. The Showmanship class is a test of the participants’ handling and interaction with the animal. Judges will score participants on their records kept in raising the animal, such as exercise program, feed program, testing the kids’ knowledge on their animals, as well as the animal’s display of training.
Please join us this year at our county fair and encourage the youth in our area to continue their hard work and character-building for years to come.