"The Importance of Livestock" by Madison Sittig, State Treasurer
Life without animals is a life none of us want to live. Have you ever stopped and thought about what the world would be like without any animals? Think about farm animals especially. Without them, we would not have milkshakes, omelettes, Raising Canes, or bacon. We would all be hungry! Animals that are raised to provide food are called livestock. Livestock is a major part of agriculture, and students are even able to be involved in it through livestock shows. Where are they held? How do I participate? What do I need to start? Where do I start? These questions and more may be running through your head. Since show season is just around the corner, I’m here to help guide you through the world of livestock shows. This will be your one-stop shop for all things livestock!
Livestock shows are events that are held all over the United States. They are a place where FFA and 4-H members, parents, grandparents, family and friends gather and spend some quality time together. Members can show swine, cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens, and even rabbits. Some of us only exhibit one specific species, while others may show multiple. In order to show livestock, we must begin by deciding which animal we would like to exhibit. For example, I own a pig operation so I prefer to show swine. After we pick out our animal or animals, we take them home and raise them. Showing livestock is a huge responsibility, so we have to be fully dedicated. Everyday our animals need to be fed, watered, and exercised. We also have to bathe our animals a few times a week. After our animals have been raised and taken care of, we prepare for the best part... livestock shows. Livestock shows are a time to see all your friends, show your animals, and have a grand old time. At the shows we exhibit our animals in front of a judge and then are ranked according to various factors.
To add onto all of the fun, showing livestock is also my SAE. Yes, doing what I love is also my supervised agricultural experience in FFA! Showing livestock has taught me many valuable lessons. Responsibility, time management, and dedication will come naturally as a result of your hard work. In order for us to succeed, we must put in the work. Showing livestock requires a lot of time and energy, but when you love spending time with your animals, you won’t even see it as work. You will have to find a way to balance your time. Between feeding before school, exercising and feeding after school, studying for school, and doing extracurricular activities, you are going to be busy.Time management will play an important role in raising and showing livestock.
The livestock industry is a vital component of the agriculture industry. What would the world be like without any animals, especially livestock?
I hope many of you want to start showing livestock and discover its importance! Ask a parent or your FFA advisor how you can get started! I promise, you won’t regret it!