4-H and FFA can connect young people to the community and an animal or two. The Lander County 4-H Youth Development Program and Battle Mountain FFA provided hands-on learning for kids, May 4-8, 2022, through the Nevada Junior Livestock Show held at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
“I like to go to NJLS to show. I get to meet so many people and the competition is pretty tough. It helps me be a better showman,” Hadley Nield said.
Youth from ages 5 through 19 can be a part of 4-H and high school students can be part of FFA. With many events that youth can participate in each year, working with livestock gives kids a new opportunity to build confidence, gain leadership, and even learn transferable skills like record keeping. Braxton Nield has said, “I have learned how to care for an animal and raise a quality product.
This year has been especially good for me to learn how to talk to businessmen about my steer and FFA project. I was able to successfully answer questions about my project and sell my steer to a business. It was a great feeling of accomplishment.”
Besides presenting in shows these kids also go out in the community and share detailed information of their animals in hopes to sell them.
Businesses or individuals can purchase animals for their personal use, donate to charities, or to sell to processors. All purchases are tax deductible. Show preparation and training of livestock takes time and most kids spend anywhere from 3 hours or more a week on their projects and more time is spent grooming animals as the show nears. Jesse Nield says, “I’ll have to make sure my steer is really clean and trained to show with a show stick and gentle enough with all the other animals and people around.”
The experience can even prepare kids for work and life. Animals depend on the exhibitor for basic needs like feed, water, and shelter. But there is a bond of trust created that the animal relies on the exhibitor in new spaces with new noise. “I am grateful for the experiences I have had showing livestock. They have helped me become who I am today,” said Kaybrie Nield
The purpose of the Nevada Junior Livestock Show is to provide an opportunity for the National FFA Organization (FFA), 4-H, youth Grange and Independent youth members to exhibit their livestock projects before the public; thus, promoting and providing the incentive for achieving excellence in livestock production, skills and practices. Such achievement and participation in the Show encourages sportsmanship, leadership, citizenship, and responsibility of the highest order in the members.
Braxton Nield: 3rd place Lightweight Steer; 3rd place Heavyweight Steer; 7th place Senior Showman; Champion Senior Yearling Heifer; Reserve Champion Senior Yearling Heifer; 5th place Market Steer Rate of Gain.
Jesse Nield: 5th place Heavyweight Steer; 3rd place Intermediate Showman; 4th place Market Steer Rate of Gain.
Kaybrie Nield: 2nd place Super Heavyweight Steer; 2nd place Market Steer Rate of Gain; Darryl Bader Sr. Memorial Scholarship- $2500.
Hadley Nield: 4th place Heavyweight Goat; 4th place Senior Showman