4-H’ers build skills for life through livestock judging

How does one develop self-confidence? If you spoke to the four Michigan 4-H members who recently competed in the livestock judging contest at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, they’d tell you that self-confidence comes from experience.

Throughout the fall, Lauren Bickel, Lapeer County; Amanda Breuninger, Washtenaw County; Brad Chapman, Monroe County; and Victoria Olger, Clinton County; practiced their judging in four states, improving not only their livestock expertise but also their life skill experiences in areas of decision making, and defending and communicating decisions. When it came time for the contest, the 4-H’ers were ready.

During the contest, the participants had to make quick decisions based on their previous knowledge of livestock and then be ready to defend those decisions in an organized fashion. That’s a skill that will come in handy in any life situation. In addition, the young people got a chance to practice their public speaking skills.

Brad was named an All-American and recognized as the Reserve Champion Sheep Judge as well as tied for the Reserve Overall Judge (placing fourth).

He said that the experience helped him “make connections across the country and become better at speaking in front of others.”

All four participants agreed that the experience boosted their self-confidence.

Read more in this Michigan State University Extension news article: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/michigan_youth_build_self_confidence_and_defend_their_decisions

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