Showing livestock at the county fair has been a tradition for over 100 years in Lake County. The hard work and dedication that goes into preparing for the fair have taught youth valuable life lessons. Here are some of the activities that 4-H and FFA youth participate in at the Lake County Fair.
Youth who enter an animal in the Lake County Fair must submit a record book to participate. Record books are a compilation of the project, and it allows exhibitors to document the time spent with their animals. Record-keeping helps set up 4-H and FFA youth by recording money, and health expenses, setting goals, summarizing experiences, and keeping inventory. Over the years, 4-H and FFA members can use record books to measure achievements and growth.
Showmanship is essential for measuring 4-H and FFA youths’ ability to handle their animal. The purpose of showmanship is to teach courtesy, good grooming, poise, confidence, and communication skills. The exhibitor should display themselves as neat, adequately dressed, and showing the animal according to the standards. The animal should come clean, in good condition, and cared for. This is how exhibitors demonstrate the time and effort placed in handling and caring for their animals.
Youth learn time management, responsibility, and animal husbandry skills. 4-H focuses on four essential elements of positive youth development: mastery, generosity, belonging, and independence. Showing livestock fosters all four elements. Youth develop social relationships, character, exposure to competition, and togetherness with club members and adult leaders white showing.
Livestock Skill-a-thon contests provide a valuable educational experience for youth. The contest provides a framework for youth to learn various topics related to the production and management of rabbits, poultry, swine, goats, and cattle. Participants in this event learn about the different breeds, body parts, skeletal anatomy, diet, equipment, products/by-products, and health relevant to their animal project. The Skill-a-thon tests a 4-H member’s knowledge and comprehension of animal science and livestock management practices.