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Gulf County 4-H competes at West Florida Livestock Show

Julie McMillian Extension Agent I UF
IFAS 4-H Youth Development & Family and Consumer Sciences Special to The Star
The Star

On March 6, eight Gulf county 4-H youth competed in the West Florida Livestock Show judging competition in Quincy.

This is the first time that the newly-developed livestock club for Gulf County has participated in this event or any judging competition.

The benefits of judging for youth are learning to make good decisions, gaining self-confidence, public speaking and scholarship opportunities.

The 4-Hers trained a week before to prepare for the event. They had to learn the key characteristics to look for in judging a market steer or hog. Their studying and efforts paid off, as both teams placed at the event.

Gulf County entered two teams in the junior division-age 8-13 years old.

The first included Riata Peck, Emily Flowers, Ali Archibald, and Jared Archibald and they placed fifth out of eight teams from surrounding counties.

The second Gulf County team included Kalyne Hoover, Travis Archibald, Ava Peck and Zoey Ake and they placed second.

Travis Archibald, just 9, placed third overall in the individual division for ages 8-13.

The following day, five of the Gulf County 4-H youth entered steers in the West Florida Livestock Show and Auction.

Ali Archibald, Jared Archibald, Travis Archibald, Riata Peck and Ava Peck were able to show the steers that they raised and trained.

The cattle were purchased last summer.

The 4-Hers put many hours of hard work teaching them to be friendly, lead, tie and stand in show position. They also had the responsibility of keeping records of feeding and vaccinations. It is required that each steer gain two pounds per day from November until March. This must be accomplished to qualify to participate in show and auction. All five county 4H-ers succeeded with the task and a professional livestock judge scored them on the overall health of the steer and their personal showmanship abilities.

Ali Archibald placed third and Jared Archibald placed fourth in their class of steers weighing 918-1,086 pounds.

Ava Peck placed second and Riata Peck fourth in the class of steers weighing 1,110-1,171 pounds.

Travis Archibald placed fifth in the class of steers weighing 1,228-1,458 pounds.

After all classes and awards were finished, the steers were auctioned to buyers.

Gulf County Extension would like to thank the businesses and individuals that contributed by donations or purchasing as a cattle buyer for one of our hard working 4-Hers. This project was an invaluable experience for our 4-H youth. They are already looking forward to next year!

There are many 4-H opportunities in our community. If you have a child age 8-18 who would like to participate in the livestock club or other 4-H programs, contact Julie McMillian at Gulf County Extension by calling 850-639-3200 or jmcmillian@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Extension is an Equal Opportunity Institution.