This time of the year, the Hopkins County Extension Office is busy organizing and mentoring youth for the NETLA showing coming up February 25, 26 and 27, 2016. To me, raising livestock projects provides many experiences in life that you might or not be aware off. For those not familiar with the process, everything starts with families deciding to engage in preparing and raising a project with their kids. During the process, families must have the project selected by validation date. The validation date is when 4-H and FFA members officially declare to the organizing NETLA committees their intent to prepare, fit and exhibit a project. After this date, exhibitors and their families will be raising, fitting and showing the project at the NETLA Junior Livestock Show. There are many different experiences during the process, from how-to-grow the project to community interactions with youth passing thru family cooperation and youth camaraderie. It is not uncommon to have families and friends showing the projects to get together and talk about the progress of the livestock project or even have a “healthy friendly” competition during the show. As a county agent, my role is to provide guidance and educational opportunities during the process, but it is after all, the youth responsibility of raising, fitting and showing the projects. During the process, I have share with many 4-H members part of their life as their learn how to get ready for the show. To me, it is a journey more than a destination. My personal experience in life is to endure and gain knowledge even when things do go thru as planned. This is, from my personal experience, the most important teaching experience of developing a livestock project. During the livestock show, our youth will have the projects evaluated by a judge who will determine what project makes it to the final stage, a livestock auction supported by the community who will purchase those projects. The NETLA Junior Livestock Show can be a bitter-sweet experience to me sometimes, because I do see the development of the projects and the challenges the 4-H members have to deal with but even with their best efforts, sometimes things do to go as planned. Only few projects will make it to the sale, the decision made by the livestock show judges. The complete experience is unique, and if you have time, I invite you to be part or attend the NETLA Junior Livestock Show, February 25-27 at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center where “a man never stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child”.
Coming up events:
Hopkins County Junior Market Show 2016
February 25, 2016, 2:00 to 3:00 PM. All lamb and goat weights due- Lamb Showmanship and Lamb Show.4:00 PM Lamb showmanship and lamb show immediately followed by goat showmanship and goat show. 7:00 PM: All heifers entries due.
February 26, 2016: 7:00 AM-All poultry projects in place and check-in. 8:00 AM– Poultry Show and poultry showmanship. 9:00 to 11:00 AM– All swine weights due 10:00 AM– All steer and heifer projects in place and check in. Noon: Swine showmanship and swine show. 12:30 -1:00 PM. Steer weights due. 3:00 PM Heifer Showmanship and heifer show. 6:00 PM. Steer showmanship and steer show. Immediately following steer show sale ring set-up by all sale participants.
February 27, 2016: Noon: Professional Ag Workers Stew. 1:00 PM Sale of champions.
The East Texas Forage Conference organized by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services in Rains, Wood and Van Zandt Counties has been scheduled for February 26, 2016 starting registration at 8:30 AM at the Rains County Fairgrouds.. This year topics are the use of prescribed burning on grazing lands, silvopasture in East and Central Texas, warm season pasture establishment perennnials and annuals, stockpiling Bermuda grass pastures, pros and cons of using GPS tracking and foam markers for herbicide applications. 3 CEU’s for private applicators (2 IPM, 1 General) and 2 DOPA credits will be granted for the attendees to the training. Registration to the Conference by calling 903-473-4580.
For more information on these or any other agricultural topics please contact the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443.