4-H Dairy Project
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Madison County 4-H is responsible for hosting the livestock shows at the Madison County Fair every year. The issue that arose was that there were no Madison County youth participating in the livestock shows. This was further investigated and found that families interested in participating but were reluctant to begin showing livestock due to the monetary and structural limitations that they faced.
Extension saw this need and the reasons for the limitations and determined to address these problems by creating the Madison County Dairy Project. Extensions goal was to provide the animals, shelter, feed, water, and show materials for youth that were interested in hopes of encouraging county youth participation in the show. A local dairyman was contacted and provided the six dairy calves, grain, and hay at no cost to the youth. An arrangement was made with the local Humane Society to use a barn that they had on their property and a local show cattle expert was contacted to teach the youth the basics of cattle showmanship for the fair.
With the help of these partners, twelve youth were successfully able to show their calves at the county fair in showmanship. Their involvement provided the youth with the opportunity to understand hard work, perseverance, community support, confidence, teamwork, responsibility, and many more life skills.