|Heidi Dahms-Foster |
Former Editorial Manager
Chino Valley 4H/FFA members are getting ready for their biggest event of the year, the 2013 Yavapai County 4-H / FFA EXPO, which begins with horse events this coming Saturday and ends on Saturday, April 27, with the big annual livestock sale at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds.
At the horse show Saturday, riders will exhibit in showmanship, Western, English and gymkhana beginning at 8 a.m. On Thursday and Friday, April 26 and 27, members will begin to show their other projects, including Dog, Beef, Sheep, Goat, Small Stock, Dairy Goat and Indoor Exhibits.
EXPO Chairman Gary Warren said there is every reason for community members to attend the event and perhaps buy one of the stock projects.
"The meat is far superior to anything you'll buy in the grocery store," he said. "It's a little more expensive but it's superior and it's supporting our youth."
Warren said he suggests that families or friends get together and buy a project and then divide it among themselves. Others will simply donate to a member's project (an add-on) to help them succeed.
Kids who manage their livestock projects well from year to year can often buy their first car when they age out, Warren said. In the meantime, they put their profits back each year into buying an animal to raise for the next year. They not only learn responsibility for caring for the animal, but they get a good foundation of business and dealing with people as they solicit buyers for their projects. They learn how to present their animal with knowledge and transfer that knowledge to each new project, and they must keep proper records of costs and process.
4H/FFA projects are not only about animals, however. The Indoor Exhibits portion of the EXPO has literally everything that a youngster can think of to do - quilting, baking, leatherwork, woodworking, art, photography and much more.
"All of these projects teach kids hands on skills and how be part of a team, part of a club," Warren said.
The youths also enjoy spending time with their projects and with other kids who are doing the same projects.
For more information on the 2013 EXPO go to http://4hffaexpo.org/ and click on the project that interests you. For a complete schedule of events and times, click on Expo Buyer Brochure 2013.