community," and are therefore responsible for knowing and obeying
all rules, regulations, and laws regarding exhibiting. Other members of
the "exhibiting community" include other exhibitors, family
members, show or fair hosts and sponsors. When you are involved in
livestock production and exhibiting, you represent the exhibiting
community as a whole. What you do or say can reflect positively or
negatively on the entire community.
a moment to answer the following questions:
you follow the rules and regulations related to the care and exhibition
of your animals?
you respect the judge’s decisions and accept those decisions
graciously, regardless of how your exhibit placed?
you help younger members in your club?
you follow quality assurance guidelines that ensure the meat from your
animals will be safe for consumers?
you answered yes to all of these questions, you already have a great
start on practicing good citizenship.
important part of showing citizenship with your livestock and other 4-H
projects is following the rules, regulations, and in some cases, the
laws related to your animals. This includes following ownership and
registration deadlines, using proper identification procedures, and
using only approved drugs.
respect to judges, show officials, and other exhibitors is another way
of practicing citizenship.
of the ribbon or ranking your exhibit receives, you should accept the
decisions of the judges with grace. This means you shouldn’t brag and
make fun of other exhibitors who didn’t do as well as you, and you
shouldn’t complain and find fault with others if you didn’t place as
high as you thought you would.
those in need is always a good way to show that you are a good citizen.
Within your club, you may have members that are less experienced than
you and would benefit from your advice. Or, you may have members that
don’t own all the equipment and supplies that you do, and would
appreciate being able to borrow your equipment.
quality assurance methods to ensure that you are producing a product
that is safe for consumers is an excellent way of practicing
citizenship. Even though you may not have a lot of livestock, there are
consumers in the United States that will eat the meat that comes from
your animals. (Those consumers might include yourself and your family!)
All consumers should be able to have confidence that their meat supply
is safe and high quality. Practicing quality assurance methods will help
build consumers’ trust in our livestock industry.
you do that shows good citizenship will also help create a positive
image of the exhibiting community. So be a good citizen of your home
town, and also of the exhibiting community!
are some questions for you to think about and discuss with your parents
is one of the activities in which all members who are exhibiting animals
should participate. How are herdsmanship and citizenship related? What
might happen if people come to a fair where everyone is doing a great
job of herdsmanship? What if people come to a fair where no one has
fulfilled their herdsmanship responsibilities?
lamb fungus is a disease that causes red, sore spots on lambs. It is
highly contagious, meaning the disease can easily be transferred from
one lamb to another and can also easily be transferred to people. In
people, it also causes red, sore and itchy patches on your skin and is
difficult to cure. What would you do if you lamb developed active club
lamb fungus just before the county fair? What could or would you do if
your lamb developed the fungus just after your county show, but while
still at the fairgrounds?
you had two steers you planned to show at the County Fair. One of them
got loose one night and was hit on the road and killed. Your neighbor
offered to "loan" you one of his cattle, using the ear tag
from your dead calf, so it would look like your calf. What would you do?
How is this related to citizenship?
next time, God Bless!
James Shropshire is
the Alabama 4-H Regional Extension Agent for the Central Alabama Region.