Extension educator eyes team of youths to judge livestock
As 2019 begins, coaching a youth livestock judging team is on the agenda for Extension educator Hallie Williams.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I’m going to start up a livestock judging team for the county. With my background, it just seemed to be a natural fit.”
Beginning this month, Seneca County Extension is starting a program for youth ages 9-18 interested in enhancing their livestock evaluation skills and public speaking abilities, and learning about animal science.
The experience is designed to help refine the decision-making process through making logical, rational decisions based on information gathered and improve oral communication and observation skills while traveling around Seneca County and Ohio, Williams said.
“Being a member of the livestock judging team will also help build self-discipline and improve leadership skills essential for future career success,” she said.
“My goal is put together a team for the Ohio State Fair and Ohio Beef Expo and Seneca County Fair and other local fairs,” Williams said.
During the first year, she said focus is to be on the fundamentals of livestock judging while preparing for participation in the Ohio Beef Expo March 15 and the state fair July 26.
“I want to get the kids out and get them as many experiences as possible,” she said. “They’ll learn about good livestock and the science that is behind production agriculture.”
Also, the team experience is meant to move youth outside their comfort zone and teach decision-making and public-speaking skills “through real and practical knowledge and experiences.”
Practices are to take place at the Extension office conference room at the Ag Center, 3140 S. SR 100, beginning 6:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 31. Practices are to be every two weeks until the Beef Expo and then monthly in April and May. Practices move to weekly after school is out in June and July.
Williams said the Seneca County Livestock Judging Team will need parents and volunteers to assist in transporting team members to practices and contests.
Also, she said volunteer livestock producers are needed to allow the team to visit farms for practice.
“Biosecurity practices will be of top priority,” she said.
Also on the Extension agenda for early 2019 are pesticide and fertilizer applicator recertification trainings. They are to take place 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Attica Fairgrounds and March 7 at New Riegel American Legion.
Anyone interested in participating or volunteering in the livestock judging team or for more information on other programs, contact Williams at (419) 447-9722 or Williams.firstname.lastname@example.org.