September 1, 2014

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Be a good sport at the state fair

The Kentucky State Fair is quickly approaching, and it will be time for 4-H’ers to compete for state livestock awards. The 4-H livestock shows are some of the most widely recognized and anticipated events of the fair. While these competitions are meant to be a fun, learning experience for 4-H’ers, some get caught up in the competitive spirit of the event, which can cause anger and disappointment if a young person or animal doesn’t place as high as expected.

Judging is not an exact science. Judges are chosen because they have very extensive background in their specific species. They are breeders, producers and industry professionals. However, there is no “perfect” way to judge a livestock show. Judges have criteria to follow for each show, but some judges may emphasize certain criteria over others. The important thing is for the judge to remain consistent. Youth must be “good sports” and gracefully accept the judge’s decision.