Dear Free-Range Kids: I just got finished helping to enter one of my kids in the local 4-H fair. She will be showing ducks and geese and it is a sun-up to sun-down committment for the whole week. At the end is a form that she had to read and agree to: I believe that my participation in the Open, 4-H and FFA programs should demonstrate my own ability, knowledge and skill as a feeder, manager, and still life exhibitor and an exhibitor of livestock/animal(s).I will do my own work to the full extent of my capabilities and otherwise will only accept advice and support from others.I will not use or allow to be used, abusive, fraudulent or illegal practices in the feeding, fitting or showing of my animal(s) or still life projects.I will read, understand, and follow the rules of the Benton Franklin Fair in which I am a participant without exception and ask that my parents and the supervisor of my project do the same.My still life/livestock/animal project will be an example of how to accept what life has to offer, both good and bad, and how to live with the outcome.I realize that I am responsible for:1. The proper care and safe, humane treatment of my animal(s).2. The production of high quality, safe and wholesome food (animal livestock projects as appropriate).3. Demonstrating strong moral character as an example to others.I consent to having my animal(s) subjected to drug/substance testing.
While I am not crazy about the drug testing of the animals (this is not big league action here and I really doubt it enters anyone’s mind), I do really like the section on how the project is “an example of how to accept what life has to offer, both good and bad, and how to live with the outcome.”
I thought you may be interested in this, as it is an example of expecting the highest and best from our kids. Kids are expected to care for their own animals the whole week and do get judged on how clean cages and areas are. If parents even look like they are helping, the club gets marked down. This goes for poultry and rabbits, all the way up to milk cows and meat steer. And yes, they expect that most kids will be somewhat disappointed when they don’t get the champion ribbon, because that can only go to one animal, not all of them. That is how life is. - Cheryl Walter
Kids + animals + responsibility? Hare hare! (Ok…lame. It’s late.)
Filed under: GOOD News