fair/show numbers

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knabe

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in my area, exhibitor numbers are way down for a variety of reasons and only junior exhibitors can show.  is it a good idea to open this up so that exhibitors that can't afford to purchase an animal can show, ie for mr. smith from another post, and have a class which can't win overall champion, but will get numbers up and participation up?  there is no local opportunity for an "open" class.  or will it just speed up the process of elimination of the local shows due to "open" participation.  currently what people do is "sell" the animal to the jr. exhibitor with the stipulation to sell it back with a variety of schemes to pay for feed.  this is essentially cheating, but our recent local show had probably less than 10 AOB in it in three classes and it was sad to see the judge give reasons.  i think only 3 people from my entire county showed.  granted we have our county show coming up.  the county to the north, Santa Clara county has the same problem.  any suggestions????
 

common sense

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That is an interesting topic right now.  I am on our County Extension Council and we have been discussing the problems with dwindling numbers at our County Fairs.  There a many factors that are influencing this and I think that what we all agree on is that the time has once again come that we need to change the makeup of our county fairs; we need to diversify to create interest in different areas.  For example, over the last five to ten years the population of our county has increased by a third to be Hispanic, mostly because of our plants.  We need to find some programs that would appeal to the children of that population.  There are also fewer and fewer rural families so we need to find a way to involve the city populations and not just clothing exhibits.  The entire makeup of our rural communities is changing or evolving and thus our fairs need to evolve in order to keep them alive.  I don't know what the answer is but I really feel that as these changes take place the show cattle industry will change as well.  There seems to be a much darker and wider line between the "professional" show people and the "county fair" show people.  I don't think either can be excluded from our fairs but perhaps there is a way to provide for the kids that just want to take a calf to the fair for the fun of it and don't really care if they win or not.  Those kids will stand to learn a lot from the experience of being at the fair and showing an animal.  This is a great topic.  I hope a lot of people comment because it will really be useful information to take to our Extension Council.
 

renegade

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That is weird because our fair (at least beef) has been growing - our beef numbers were up by 16 points this year and herefords are getting more popular now ;D since their is more of a chance to show them and a new junior association. Our western idaho state fair has an FFA/4-H, a junior and an open show which has high participation.
 

CAB

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  I think there are so many reasons that the numbers have fallen off that it's hard to figure out what to do to build it back up. Our county has had some good success buiding #'s of younger members through a bottle calf program. I think that if the kids have some early success and find an attachment to their calves that it will stick with most of them. On the other hand our sheep show has went from 100 + to 2 exhibitors & 8 sheep this year. Most families can't afford to pay the higher prices for the show lambs & kind of give in instead of digging in. It's hard for a kid to compete with a family that has been AIing for 20 years and they may be lucky to get Dad  out & look for a calf 1 week B4 weigh in, it's just going to be such an uphill battle for the kids. I wish we could get every kid an equal oppertunity to show a good calf during their career. I've tried a couple of times to offer a group of calves @ a very reasonable price & thought that the kids should draw #'s for them, but extension agent didn't want to do it. I picked a young member last year that I thought had a good starting interest in cattle, called his Dad & offered a bull that was strictly maturnally bred for lb price + $100.00 to get them a better female base to breed on, but dad said no. Have offered to cidr and breed cows for families, and again , no. Should say that we have won alot @ the county level and that may have something to do with all the no's. We have raised them all but 1 & that one we gave $700.00 for @ an auction, no one else would bid on the calf, he was red. People will spend good money driving up & down the road playing sports to get better, and it's kind of the same thing, you'll be better if you work @ it harder.I think that the #'s are going to keep going down if we don't find a way to somehow level the field somehow. It's going to be hard, because people that don't really make their money from ag.are paying way too much for these calves. I'm guilty of wanting the big dollars too. We were talking this week about state fair and how the calves that have a chance to win are all in a cooler somewhere and have been sorted through by a keen eyed group of excellent cattleman. The days of Joe or Sally blow winning the real big shows are probably gone for good unless a big change comes. Let,s face this too, the show business is a fairly big business anymore. Sorry for the long post. I wish we could go back to where it was when I was a kid. I loved it, and my white ribbons were the best thing for my motivation. Do they still print those pretty white ribbons? I think I may have gotten the last one. Brent
 

justme

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Our numbers are down...but our little county only has 1200 people in it and the highest majority are over the age of 60 years old.  One excuse I hear from the kids is that the same family has won for the last 6 years so why try.  I myself hate that excuse.  Exhibiting at the fair  teaches kids so many life lessons.  It can be a simple arts and crafts project to a steer, it doesn't matter.  4-H teaches kids like there motto says "to make the best better" and I truely believe it.

Off my soap box now...
 

DLD

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sw Oklahoma
Lots of good thoughts...

Another thing to consider is the demands young people have on their time these days. Academics get more demanding every year, and all of the kids have to deal with that. Also, the "traditional exhibitor" if you will, is often the young person that's involved in many different activities - church, sports, other 4H and/or FFA and often other group activities. At some point for alot of these kids (and their families) something has to give, and the livestock project being expensive and time consuming, especially for those youngsters who only show a few times a year, is often the first to go.
 

OH Breeder

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Ada, Ohio
I have to say it is quality not quantitiy. Our county fair has about 60-65 head of steers and about 30 or so breeding stock. I have always been impressed with out quality. We have had many breeders raise a grand or reserve grand champion at the state level. Last year of the top 5 steers 4 were top in division or won there class at the state level. It is really competitive as Red can tell you.
 

steermaker

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Numbers at our fair are actually on the upswing.  This year there were 48 steers and about 20 breeding cattle (heifers and cow/calf pairs).  Not sure how many hogs were in that show but they sold 66 at the auction at the end of the week.  I believer there were about 30 market lambs that were sold as well.

What sort of irritated me was that during the open show they did not award any breed championships or choose a grand/supreme champion female.  I really don't know why.
 

garybob

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common sense said:
That is an interesting topic right now.  I am on our County Extension Council and we have been discussing the problems with dwindling numbers at our County Fairs.  There a many factors that are influencing this and I think that what we all agree on is that the time has once again come that we need to change the makeup of our county fairs; we need to diversify to create interest in different areas.  For example, over the last five to ten years the population of our county has increased by a third to be Hispanic, mostly because of our plants.  We need to find some programs that would appeal to the children of that population.  There are also fewer and fewer rural families so we need to find a way to involve the city populations and not just clothing exhibits.  The entire makeup of our rural communities is changing or evolving and thus our fairs need to evolve in order to keep them alive.  I don't know what the answer is but I really feel that as these changes take place the show cattle industry will change as well.  There seems to be a much darker and wider line between the "professional" show people and the "county fair" show people.  I don't think either can be excluded from our fairs but perhaps there is a way to provide for the kids that just want to take a calf to the fair for the fun of it and don't really care if they win or not.  Those kids will stand to learn a lot from the experience of being at the fair and showing an animal.  This is a great topic.  I hope a lot of people comment because it will really be useful information to take to our Extension Council.
You asked for it, and, now, you are getting more than you wished for. First, get a copy of a 4H recruitment pamphlet from Texas A&M, in Spanish, of course, and, let those folks know what 4H is. Put pressure on your FFA Teachers to include the the Hispanic students in something besides the Ag-Mechanics Lab and the Greenhouse. Why? Because those kids' parents are way more likely to have a rural and/or production agriculture background than the "town kids". Tell these Ag Teachers to quit turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the bigotry and bullying the "traditional" ( if there is such a thing, anymore) students put on the Hispanic kids. Involve these students in discussions about agriculture in Not just Mexico, but, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, etc. Let them, or their parents describe the differences in Guzerat or Indu-Brazil cattle. The Charolais in the USA are frail and gutless, compared to Mexico's population of white cattle. Go to a Quinceniera or Boda, and, offer to help them find the next meat for the next Fiesta.Make them feel like Hispanic members of OUR community, not just Memebers of the local HIspanic Community.
I've worked along side these people in the Poultry Industry, and, as far as I'm concerned, Guillermo Perez is a better Boer Goat rancher than Arnold-Joe Chaney could ever be. I've never had a SINGLE local guy ask me about my Shorthorns, but, I've loaned out my Bulls to Herman Sanchez and Sebastian Guerero. Why? Because of the way I've treated them with respect. The storefronts plywooded up on my town's square, until 1995, when the Hispanic neighbors moved to town. Not just the bar, either.
 

knabe

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here's my interraction with the new FFA.  nose chain on the horse, looped under and between their legs and over their shoulders to get them to get their head down, yank on it till they start lurching, keep doing it till they fall over backwards onto your fence, tear it up and drag it away with lots of injuries to the legs, then when you show them how to remove all that, and get them to relax, they still keep doing what you said, badmouth you as an idiot, paint ball your cows and horses, irrigate mustard and russian thistle and run horses and sheep on it, don't turn off the irrigation even after it creates a mudhole in your yard, while the tractor and disc sit idle while all the weeds go to seed, have loud parties that go on till midnight, won't quiet it down when asked nicely, have kids with two stroke motorcycles that startle your horse, ask nicely to restrict where they can ride, then when cops come an tell you it is illegal to have motorcycles in an ag rural area, get pissed and start bad mouthing your neighbor for calling the cops, talking to the cops in english, yet talk to you in spanish professing no english.  this is not bigotry, this is disgust.  i agree garybob, that a lot of "entitled" legal citizens are disgusting as well, but to paint a broad brush that all the illegals and legal spanish speaking citizens have america at heart is a little annoying.  it is morallly reprehensible to allow anyone to come here without going threw legal channels and does nothing but create a black market and devalue wages, citizenship and a whole list of other things.  i don't know how much more "respect" i have to give to some of these people.  this country was founded on enforceable contracts, and without that enforcement, there is no law.  this will lead to populism and nothing chaps my hide more than voter fraud and sanctuary from the law.  I am reminded of a girl raped in florida

http://www.nbc-2.com/articles/readarticle.asp?articleid=4513&z=3&p=
or
http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2005/10/05/14-farm-workers-arrested-for-gang-rape-in-florida%25e2%2580%25a6are-they-illegal-aliens/

obviously anyone can cherry pick data, the above is just one of mine.


this is not my ffa, i'm sick of the bigotry argument, and i'll be damned if i'm going to sit by while what's left of america is too scared to challenge people with facts.  i am not under any obligation to like someone who is so different than me to my detriment and their gain.  Xenophobia has come to mean the elimination of the american culture, disguised as progress.  if i were to go to any of the mentioned countries in numbers which only amount to tourism, i have to listen to complaints that all the help has to speak english and how the culture is changing because of this and how no bueno gringo is.  illegal immigration without SOME assimilation evidenced with learning english, which is required to become a LEGAL US citizen, no bueno.

I too have worked along people of spanish descent as an employer, and they have stolen laptops, refrigerators, plants, falsified attendance records, petitioned others to flash their card key so it would look like they had worked, possessed 4, yes 4 social security cards, each a 250,000 fine for fraud.  i'm sorry, but this is not bigotry, this is lawlessness.
 

Jill

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I am sorry, but I am just flabbergasted that your answer to an American 4-H numbers problem is to spend millions in tax dollars to print all the 4-H literature in Spanish or any other foreign language for that matter so that someone who can't communicate in this country can sign up for 4-H, surely you must be joking!    I don't have a problem with LEGAL immigration or with the hispanic community, but we are in America and our language is English!  Texas is the only state I know of that has a closed show of only Texas participants (Ft. Worth, Houston and now the Belt Buckle).  I'm not from Texas and don't really know that much about the show scene down there, but it would seem to me they don't have a numbers problem.
 

garybob

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Jill said:
I am sorry, but I am just flabbergasted that your answer to an American 4-H numbers problem is to spend millions in tax dollars to print all the 4-H literature in Spanish or any other foreign language for that matter so that someone who can't communicate in this country can sign up for 4-H, surely you must be joking!    I don't have a problem with LEGAL immigration or with the hispanic community, but we are in America and our language is English!   Texas is the only state I know of that has a closed show of only Texas participants (Ft. Worth, Houston and now the Belt Buckle).  I'm not from Texas and don't really know that much about the show scene down there, but it would seem to me they don't have a numbers problem.
No, Jill, I mean print a copy of "This is 4H" in Spanish, only one, to introduce 4H to the parents. The kids are usually profficient enough in English, they just need parental approval. Good parents of any socioeconomic status won't allow their children to participate in anything, be it sports, choir, whatever, unless they know something about it. That's all I was saying.
 

NHR

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Jill said:
I am sorry, but I am just flabbergasted that your answer to an American 4-H numbers problem is to spend millions in tax dollars to print all the 4-H literature in Spanish or any other foreign language for that matter so that someone who can't communicate in this country can sign up for 4-H, surely you must be joking!    I don't have a problem with LEGAL immigration or with the hispanic community, but we are in America and our language is English!   Texas is the only state I know of that has a closed show of only Texas participants (Ft. Worth, Houston and now the Belt Buckle).  I'm not from Texas and don't really know that much about the show scene down there, but it would seem to me they don't have a numbers problem.

Good point. In Texas numbers are up across the board at the big shows. Ft Worth set a record with junior breeding heifer entries this year. There were so many that most people did not get all the Tie-outs they paid for. Houston, Wow what a scene to see all those steers and then the heifers in one big building, just amazing. San Antonio is a dump of stalling building but the place was packed. Houston and I believe San Antonio both require you to be a legal resident, maybe even a citizen, to show. Any show that pays a premium is required to have your social security number on file for tax purposes.

Our county show has remained strong and I consider it to be one the most competitive county shows in the state. Over 200 goats, 30+ sheep, 60+ steers, 30+ registered heifers, 50+ swine, and 30+ commercial heifers. I know that there are larger numbers in other counties in TX but the quality at our show is very good.

I dont think the problem is fixed by more education in spanish but it is fixed by parents getting involved. Have your parents start a Young Farmers Assoc, Friends of Youth, or booster club for your 4H and FFA organizations. If parents are involved then the kids are usually involved. It is up to the parents to spark the light in their kids.

I can speak on the spanish issue because my wife is spanish which also makes my children spanish. Trust me the answer is not teaching or printing materials in spanish
 

garybob

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NHR said:
Jill said:
I am sorry, but I am just flabbergasted that your answer to an American 4-H numbers problem is to spend millions in tax dollars to print all the 4-H literature in Spanish or any other foreign language for that matter so that someone who can't communicate in this country can sign up for 4-H, surely you must be joking!    I don't have a problem with LEGAL immigration or with the hispanic community, but we are in America and our language is English!   Texas is the only state I know of that has a closed show of only Texas participants (Ft. Worth, Houston and now the Belt Buckle).  I'm not from Texas and don't really know that much about the show scene down there, but it would seem to me they don't have a numbers problem.

Good point. In Texas numbers are up across the board at the big shows. Ft Worth set a record with junior breeding heifer entries this year. There were so many that most people did not get all the Tie-outs they paid for. Houston, Wow what a scene to see all those steers and then the heifers in one big building, just amazing. San Antonio is a dump of stalling building but the place was packed. Houston and I believe San Antonio both require you to be a legal resident, maybe even a citizen, to show. Any show that pays a premium is required to have your social security number on file for tax purposes.

Our county show has remained strong and I consider it to be one the most competitive county shows in the state. Over 200 goats, 30+ sheep, 60+ steers, 30+ registered heifers, 50+ swine, and 30+ commercial heifers. I know that there are larger numbers in other counties in TX but the quality at our show is very good.

I dont think the problem is fixed by more education in spanish but it is fixed by parents getting involved. Have your parents start a Young Farmers Assoc, Friends of Youth, or booster club for your 4H and FFA organizations. If parents are involved then the kids are usually involved. It is up to the parents to spark the light in their kids.

I can speak on the spanish issue because my wife is spanish which also makes my children spanish. Trust me the answer is not teaching or printing materials in spanish
Hey, in regards to areas seeing an upward spike in demographic profiles overnight ( in less than ten years) , such as the midwest and southeast, where Hispanics are newcomers and the parents don't speak much English, wouldn't a small amount of Multilingual Literature be helpful? Just to get the ball rolling.
 

NHR

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If you give a little then the dam will burst and everything will have to be in multiple languages. The amount of Tax Payers money wasted on foreign language duplication is astronomical. Maybe if the government quite wasting this money they could fix the county road I live on. 10k miles and I need new shocks!
 

knabe

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quote from garybob
Hey, in regards to areas seeing an upward spike in demographic profiles overnight ( in less than ten years) , such as the midwest and southeast, where Hispanics are newcomers and the parents don't speak much English, wouldn't a small amount of Multilingual Literature be helpful? Just to get the ball rolling.

my brother's wife is hispanic and so are his kids.  they are legal, so is she.  the recent 10 year increase in demographics is because both the democratic party and the republican party, though mostly bush, have allowed, encouraged the demographics to change.  the thing that always upsets me, is that we as legal citizens are asked to always "get the ball rolling" at our expense.  if the rule is i get a free ball, why do i have to wait until after free health care, in state tuition, no prosecution for social security fraud etc.  get the ball rolling?  why are we rolling over, forget getting it rolling.  i did and still do all the jobs everyone is complaining about that americans won't do, so  does my kid.  i view the ball rolling as no pressure for a national holiday at schools for cinco de mayo, rarely even celebrated in mexico, knowledge of the US constitution rather than one of the racial pressure groups that has no equal for white people.  i will gladly pay for strawberries at legal wages.  there is more price flexibility in marketing and health care fraud than there is in pressuring wages to go down so that companies feel they have to hire illegals.  folks, this has happened in less than one generation and mostly because of bush.  if you truly believe in this, let''s dissolve the concept of a country and allow markets to develope where there are dictators.  free the world, don't just free my pocketbook without my discretion after i have already paid taxes and have to pay for myself with wha'ts left over.  perhaps we should just get rid of the concept of principles.  they are so limiting.

the reason citizens don't want to do these jobs is not the job itself, it's the wage pressure due to a black market which forces wages down below what it costs to live legally in densities people grew up with and are codified in legal code.  if there was more incentive to work in ag from a purely enforced market perspective, fair numbers would go up for a variety of functions including quilt making, jam making, pie making etc rather than turning the fair into a carnival freak show.  legal jobs is the key, and my pocketbook is not for hire either incrmentally, or as amnesty without a fight.
 

chambero

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Not to turn this into a Texas discussion, but frankly there is no correct answer to the english/spanish issue.  On the surface, I hate the idea of having to make every kinds of government and most private documents available in Spanish.  I think it is a disservice to immigrants by enabling them to not have to learn english.  The only way to properly learn any language is to be thrown into the fire so to speak without being able to fall back our your primary language.  

Our 2A school district filed the public school version of bankrupty last year so we could start laying off teachers and cancelling contracts in the middle of the year.  Why, because we have so many support personnel and assistant this's and that's.  Seems like an easy problem to fix till you realize how much paper work is required just to account for the bilingual communication requirements.  I remember being amazed at the number of forms I had to fill out when my oldest started kindergarten to certify he wasn't homeless, spoke english, etc.....

We have a very large hispanic population in our small town - due in large part to a huge number of big horse ranches in our area.  Garybob is correct - our 4-H and FFA programs don't really reach out to those kids and families.  It's not necessarily a language issue, but there isn't much of an effort made to get them involved.  Part of that is on the parents also though.  It's something I really hadn't thought about before.  Anybody wanting to get numbers up might ought to open their eyes and look who their neighbor is.

 

knabe

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i know who my neighbors are and 6 out of 24 don't speak ANY english, this with home values at $1,000,000-1,500,000.  one house was cited for occupancy limits and converting a barn into a rental.  another was cited for fire/weed control.  i have woken up.  when they wake up and change the demands on resources to our gilded age lifestyles, we are bankrupt of money, water, infrastructure, medicare, medicade, childcare for households earning under $41K etc. it's called incremental socialism.  we are only increasing entitlements without a colinear increase in revenues other than by raising taxes through bonds, "fees" and other subterfuge.  this is unfair.  we currently used to grow food which you could plant every year and export, yet now we raise houses which don't support their infrastructure load, compounded with increasing our population, waking up is the understatement of the year.  i haven't tried to export a house lately, but it seems a little heavy.  though i gotta admit, buckminster fuller had a good take on houses being portable with sinkable foundations and movable by helicopters. he thought the idea of a house was a little outdated.  then again, his vision of cars resulted in a deadly mishap at a worlds fair.
 

knabe

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in oregon, they have fired/demoted forest fire supervisors because they don't speak spanish. perhaps we should apply this rule to every segment of the econmy, perhaps even the military, elected officials.  perhaps that will get the ball rolling to eliminate english.  it's amazing english should even be allowed.  can't believe we've tolerated it this long.  amazing, i lost a good friend in college who was a forest fire fighter, where the entire crew spoke english, 20 guys.  again, amazing it has taken less than one generation to make it IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANYONE WHO DOESN'T SPEAK SPANISH TO GET A JOB IN GOVERNMENT WITH NO THREAT OR PRESSURE ON THE IMMIGRANT POPULATION TO LEARN ENGLISH BEFORE THEY GET A JOB.  AMAZING.

safety was cited.  whose safety suffers when someone who doesn't speak english is trying to rescue someone who doens't speak spanish.  where is this leading, we don't speak enough spanish, we need more or we are bigots.  it's just that simple.
 
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