What dairy activities are you involved in? How do you think they're impacting your goals and skills? (For example, some youth involved in dairy judging say that giving reasons makes a huge difference in their public speaking skills.)
DAIRY ACTIVITIES? I am not a farm kid, but I do a few other things.
I choose and purchase and sell cattle one at a time.
I work to keep my animals healthy.
I am involved in and learning about breeding/A.I. process, and make decisions about it.
I show dairy at every local, county, and state level show. I have just recently started showing on the national level.
I participate in showmanship at every show.
I milk my own and other cows at the state shows.
I am in my third year as OK Ayrshire Jr. Princess.
I made and operate my own dairy promotion booth at health expos, and I am sponsored by Dairy Max and Milk PEP.
I am an official blogger for the Tulsa State Fair Livestock Shows for dairy.
My 4-H recordbook is full of dairy food project, dairy livestock project, and nutrition project with a heavy emphasis on lowfat dairy as a part of a healthy diet.
I compete in 4-H speech contests with dairy livestock or dairy foods as the subject.
I compete in 4-H powerpoint presentations with dairy livestock or dairy foods as the subject.
I am a 4-H Cloverbuds helper.
I have been a 4-H officer each year in my local chapter.
I participate at all state dairy field days in judging.
I am on the county 4-H Shooting Sports team. (I’m practicing my marksmanship just in case I ever have to shoot a coyote to protect my heifers.)
SKILLS?...hmmm. I’m not perfect, but I’m much better than when I started.
PUBLIC SPEAKING: I’m not sure what type I did first. I talk to judges in the ring, at judging contests, while giving reasons, etc. I give illustrated presentations, memorized speeches and power point - speaking about slides without bullet points or presenter notes. I can speak like having a conversation with the audience.
WORKING WITH CHILDREN: Little kids seem to like me. I help with Cloverbuds and PeeWee showmanship. Everyone seems to have a good time. They love milk and they love my animals.
DEMONSTRATING: I have demonstrated dairy recipes to children and their parents. I have demonstrated herdsmanship and showmanship skills to younger showmen.
ORGANIZATION: I’ve learned to order feed on time, pick up the supplies on time, keep track of heat cycles, keep track of bills/payments, know where all my supplies are and how much I have so I have what I need.
BEING OBSERVANT: I’m learning to watch out for certain things: noticing symptoms and behaviors in my animals, judging the quality of animals.
BEING RESPONSIBLE: I am responsible every day for my animals and my landlord’s animals. I help with other kids’ dairy animals. When I know I have a job, I do it, and when I mess up, I admit it and I ask how I can fix it because I know that it isn’t fair for other people to take up my slack. I sure don’t like having to take up the slack for other people.
RESOURCEFULNESS: I continue to learn to use what supplies I have on hand to get the job done well. I’m learning to re-purpose items for new uses.
PULLING YOURSELF UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS: Sometimes you have to suck it up and finish it out even when you’re tired or sick or hurt. Crying doesn’t help. It sure doesn’t help in public.
DECISION MAKING: I have to make decisions all the time whether it is the quality of how I'm doing my job or if it's time to send an animal to the auction. I have to weigh the pros and cons of everything I do. I have to look to the future to see how my decisions will make things better or worse.
COMMUNICATION: This is probably the hardest skill. I am still learning to listen to instructions and be able to say what I mean and be understood the first time. Those are so hard. You have to be precise with your words and ask good questions.
WORK ETHIC: I’ve learned how to feel good by completing a job well and doing a job without being told. (This is one of my parents’ favorites.) I’ve recently heard my mom bragging how I’ve started telling her, “No, Mom, I can do it by myself.”
I think all of my activities and skills are helping me to be a better person: a better student, a better citizen, a better future-employee, a better steward of all that God has given me.