Life Lessons Through Livestock

For youth growing up in Lake County, FL showing livestock at the county fair has been a tradition for 100 years. Over the years, youth showing livestock have developed many life skills as they complete the last portion of their livestock project at the fair and compete amongst their peers. Mikayla Clement, Michaela Melchiorre, Danica Keele, and Blake Hendley are prime examples of the life lessons learned through showing at the Lake County Fair.

Mikayla Clement

Submitted by Mikayla Clement: The life lessons I have learned in 4-H and showing livestock at the Lake County Fair will be cherished forever. Being allowed to show at the Lake County Fair is an honor because it allows youth to meet other youth, leaders, and local officials to increase our community network. Two of my most important lessons are always to have good sportsmanship and fun. Sportsmanship teaches us that no matter who wins, we are all winners for getting in the ring. Showing livestock has developed my life skills so many ways through friends, leaders, animals, and the hard work put into each project.

Michaela Melchiorre

Submitted by Michaela Melchiorre: Eights years ago, I started my 4-H and the Lake County Fair journey. I started off showing swine, but now I exhibit six types of livestock. Because of 4-H, I have had the opportunity to develop leadership skills and have found my passion, and I have started my farm. Raising livestock has taught me many valuable life skills such as financial and time management, hard work, and dedication. Sharing my knowledge with new members is something I enjoy as they are the future of agriculture. 4-H and exhibiting livestock are the reasons I am who I am, and it all started with a little piggy. And remember, let’s make the best better!

Danica Keele

Submitted by Danica Keele: 4-H and the Lake County Fair livestock shows have become a large part of my life during my seven years with 4-H. Because of 4-H, I have made many friendships that I know will continue well past the show ring. 4-H has taught me good sportsmanship, showmanship, leadership, and record-keeping while learning and improving animal husbandry skills. I’ve learned to win and lose with dignity and kindness, have fun no matter what, and always learn something from every experience. I feel that 4-H has not only made me a better animal caretaker, but it has also made me an altogether better person.

Blake Hendley

Submitted by Blake Hendley: I am a senior at MDHS, and after graduation, I plan to attend Lake Sumter to become a relay technician. I have been showing livestock at the LCF for the past six years, and I am an officer in Okahumpka 4-H. Showing livestock through 4-H has been a huge part of my life and raising livestock has taught me skills that will last a lifetime.

I have learned that hard work pays off and that putting in just a little extra effort goes a long way. I have learned time management skills and dedication, and I have enjoyed being part of a team that feels more like a family. Being at the fair teaches collaboration above all; everyone works together to keep the barn clean and presentable because you never know who’s watching. Nobody worries about who their competition is in the barn because everyone supports one another. I have made memories and friends that will last a lifetime and learned skills that will stick with me forever. I recommend showing livestock to all children no matter how old they are; it is an experience you will not regret.



Posted: November 12, 2021

Category: 4-H & Youth
Tags: 4-H

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