Youth Livestock Competitions- A Learning Experience
By Nataly Tavidian, Grand Island/Hastings Reporter - email
When many kids come home from school, they may hop on the computer, television, or play video games. But the kids competing at the state level livestock shows work with their animals.
It's fierce but friendly competition at the Nebraska state fair's youth livestock shows.
"We work with them all year and then you kind of get connected with them," Paris TeBrink, said about the competition. She said it's hard to say goodbye to the animals after the competition is over.
But many say the experience teach kids about growing up and dealing with many obstacles.
Charlotte TeBrink, the competitors mother, said "Every minute they [her children] have to spare they're working with their sheep, or horses. They don't watch TV in the summer, even after school, and they work their sheep 5 days week."
That consistency is crucial to building trust with the animals, and winning awards.
Susan Littlefield, show announcer at the fair, said "When they make it to the county fair or the state fair level, the progress shows, the animal knows this is my keeper and that attachment shows in the ring. "