[August 06, 2012]
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With more than 90 animals and
40 kids participating, the Logan County Fair 4-H Beef Show was the
largest 4-H livestock show at the fair this year. It was
something that impressed judge Lee Stremsterfer, as he often commented
on not only the quality of animals he was seeing but also
the quality of kids he was finding at the Logan County Fair.
Stremsterfer is a cattle owner and shows at
many open shows. He told the audience that the quality of
animal he was seeing at the Logan County Fair was outstanding. He often commented during the show that an animal was one he
would be proud to have in his own herd.
Even so, as he spoke about the
animals, he also spoke about the young people who are involved in
raising livestock. He said that the number of young people
willing to do the work involved in caring for and showing an animal
was a testament to the work ethic of the young people of Logan
County 4-H. He then noted that the kids were the true assets
of the show, not necessarily the animals. "It's our kids that matter,
" he said. "The animals come second."
As he went through the judging process, he
clearly struggled in certain classes to choose the best of the best. At one point he told the audience, "This is one of the finest set of
animals I've seen at a county fair in my entire life."
The 4-H program is funded by the state of Illinois through
the University of Illinois Extension Service. At various times
throughout the last few years, the importance of funding the program
has been questioned by Gov. Pat Quinn and legislators. In
Logan County, 4-H is a strong organization with approximately 20
active clubs and well over 300 kids participating. Whether it
is a livestock show or gardening, art, floriculture, technology or
any one of a dozen other special areas, what 4-H brings to kids is a
strong work ethic and an appreciation of what it takes to compete in
the world, not just for ribbons and trophies, but for placements in
colleges and in the workforce.
Their 4-H achievements carry weight on college
applications as well as job applications, as they demonstrate not
only the work ethic and knowledge but also their ability to be
leaders. Stremsterfer is a huge proponent of 4-H and told the
audience that everyone should be. He commented: "Make
your voice known; it (4-H) is worth it. We don't want to see
it go away because you didn't let your voice be known."
Pictures by Nila Smith