Our View: Three cheers for 4-H

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Moffat County 4-H is one of the most positive experiences for youths in our community. 4-H teaches many life skills including responsibility, bookkeeping, time management and project management. But it also allows youths in the county to socialize and interact with one another and to learn one of life's most precious lessons -- sometimes you have to let go of things you love.

The Moffat County 4-H Junior Livestock sale is the culmination of a year's worth of hard work. Livestock participants spend hundreds of hours grooming, training and nurturing their animals to be show-ring-perfect at the fair, all in the name of earning a good price. What many livestock sale audience members don't realize is that the money earned for these animals is often not spending money. Just like any other business, raising livestock has a price tag, and these children learn what it means to earn enough money to pay for the project. In the best-case scenario, we hope that all of the children can pay their bills and pocket a few dollars for themselves. If they make a lot of money, kudos for a business well run.

To the buyers: Often times the livestock sale turns into a popularity contest with business owners vying for their friends' children's animal, or for the animal of the child whose parents spend the most money in a particular business. The sale should be all about showing respect for the process and for all of the 4-Hers who put their blood, sweat and tears into this project. Show these children that you appreciate their efforts and the lessons they've learned just as much as you appreciate who their parents are. Every child, no matter who they are, deserves an equal shot at the high bid. Nothing is sadder than watching some children get $9 per pound while others get $4 per pound -- it makes the children feel bad, it makes the parents feel worse, and it certainly isn't in the spirit of the livestock sale.

We encourage all businesses to participate in the sale, no matter how much or how little. Simply showing up to show support for the program is half the battle. If your business can't afford an entire animal, split the cost with other businesses in the same boat.

We look forward to seeing you at this year's Junior Livestock Sale.

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