4-H Volunteer - Why I am involved
I have been involved in 4-H for nearly 25 years with our children. Each of them started their early years showing Dairy cattle and as they grew older each took a different path with raising and showing livestock. In addition to Dairy cattle we have raised beef, swine, sheep and goats.
For the last 15 years, along with my wife Darcy, I have been a 4-H Leader focusing on livestock within our club. I have served for several years as the Livestock Superintendent for the Lincoln County Achievement Days. I am currently a member of the Lincoln County 4-H Leaders Association and currently a First Year Director on the Executive Committee. As part of an effort to revitalize interest in 4-H and Achievement Days we formed the “Promote and Grow” committee. I have been a member of this committee since it started.
I have also been involved for the past 14 years in the Lincoln-Union Shooting Sports program. I am certified as an instructor for all shooting disciplines and I am the State Trainer for Muzzle Loading instructors. I have been the State Coach in Muzzle Loading and in 22 rifle, both CMP Sporter and 3-Positon Precision, and taken teams to National 4-H competition twice.
I believe 4-H is the most versatile program for involving youth. Other programs are more limited in scope. 4-H promotes personal growth and leadership and many of our nations leaders were once 4-H members.
South Dakota State Fair
I am concerned about the urbanization of the South Dakota State Fair. If you have been involved with the State Fair in any capacity you soon realize that if 4-H was not part of the fair, the fair could not survive. Historically, State Fairs in this part of the country are the culmination of numerous county ‘Fairs’ held all across the state. It is a place to take your prized animals and projects to compete for the title of ‘the best’ in many categories including herdsmanship and showmanship – it is not always about the best animal. If you take agriculture out of the fair it simply cannot survive.
What I have personally witnessed is the growing trend to raise the cost and fees on the agriculture community to cover the deficits when these deficits are seemingly caused by trying to make it an Urban Fair. The majority of the people inside the gates on any given day are associated with agriculture in some way and will be there as long as 4-H and FFA continue to thrive. One trip to the Sioux Empire Fair will show you what happens to agriculture when it becomes an afterthought.
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