Animal Programs Are Unique in 4-H
Posted: June 28, 2011
(Written by 4-H Member Jessica Dietrich, New Tripoli, PA)
I am a fourth generation farmer's daughter who would not give up this life for anything. My family owns a dairy farm, Lynnarces, located in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania. Over half of my life I have been participating in 4-H. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to participate in 4-H, but it is all worth it. To take care of my animals I must get up early in the morning, around 5:00 a.m. and feed and water them, and also give them straw for bedding so they stay clean and dry. After school and work at the farm, I feed and water them again which is around 6:30 p.m. I have to wash them constantly to keep them clean so they don't get sick, and I also have to walk them around daily with a halter to train them for shows.
On show day I get up very early, normally around 4:00 a.m., to wash and prepare the animals. The goal when you show is to have the animals as clean as you can. I must also present myself in a fashionable way. There are three parts that consist of the show: showmanship, fitting and type. The showmanship aspect of the show is based on me or whoever else is exhibiting in the show ring. When you are competing in showmanship, the judge determines how well you present your animal, how well your animals are trained and, most importantly, how well you present yourself. Fitting is based on how clean your animal is. You don't want any stains or dirt on your animal; you want to make sure they are as clean as possible. The type show is completely different than the showmanship and fitting part of the show. For the type show, the judge looks at how complete and well the animal is formed. At a dairy show, the judge looks at how tall and wide the cow is and how much milk the udder can hold. At the beef and swine show, the judge is looking at how strong and muscular my animals are.
Agriculture and farming is very important because it feeds the world; being in 4-H is just a bonus because I get to make many new friends and also learn how to be very responsible.