If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that most of my posts are news articles that I think are important for those of us in animal agriculture to be aware of. These articles are then followed by my own commentary. However that commentary is usually brief and I want to start sharing more of my own thoughts and ideas with you. So with that in mind, I am going to start occasionally posting some original content from My Point of View.
This month has been a fun one around our house. The fall is always my favorite time of year for a variety of reasons. Seeing the crops come out of the fields and calves being weaned is always exciting. And if you enjoy hunting, the autumn months are like Christmas with pheasant, grouse, deer, elk and antelope seasons. But one October event in our area that has been going on for 71 years is the Western Junior Livestock Show.
The WJLS is a 4-H show that draws young livestock enthusiasts from North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska. My wife's family has been involved in the show since it's inception and it has been exciting to carry on that tradition.
Our kids are too young to be in 4-H yet, but we have been volunteering at the show since we were married 10 years ago. As are many of these types of shows, it is run completely by volunteers and it takes a lot of them. But the rewards of volunteering at the WJLS are many.
Whether it is seeing the smile of a young exhibitor going into the ring for the first time or feeling for one that has a calf that isn't cooperating that day, the lessons learned showing livestock will last for a lifetime.
These lessons won't happen though if the volunteers don't provide these opportunities to the next generation. If you aren't involved with the 4-H program in your area, you need to be. There are many different ways to advocate for agriculture and this is a great one. While you will be volunteering, you will be repaid in smiles and that is something you can't put a price on.