FFA and 4-H-Jugend develop within the agricultural lifestyle


Fair season started this week in communities across the state. From late July to October, people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests come together to showcase talent, enjoy food, and see how a year of hard work bears fruit. This is a great opportunity for the farming community to grow, learn and showcase their best!

The New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service and youth organizations such as 4-H and FFA are creating opportunities for every family member to participate in the fair. There are several classes to showcase talent as a member of these youth organizations including: Animal Sciences, Horticulture, Engineering, Creative Arts, and Home Economics. For those who are still a child at heart, the open adult section includes: field crops, baked goods and canned goods, clothing, handicrafts, handicrafts and photography.

“4-H and Extension touches 650,000 new Mexicans every year! That’s a third of our great state. 4-H is one of many organizations that children and even adults can participate in, one that is very close to my heart, “said Tatum O’Toole, past president of the 4-H state.

The cattle shed holds a range of animals including cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, llamas, and alpacas. Each animal is accompanied and looked after by a hard-working young person. These showmen work year round to feed, water and care for their animals, to guide them through the show ring to complete the sale. The sale of Junior Livestock benefits the future of these showmen through the generosity of bidders, grants, trophy buckles and awards for the show.

“As the largest youth organization in the world, 4-H aims to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills through experiential learning programs with a positive approach to youth development,” said O’Toole. “In New Mexico alone, there are more than 30,000 teenagers ages 5-19 taking part in citizenship leadership and many other different project areas.”

If you don’t have the weekend plans, a trip to the local fair is sure to be a lot of fun. You can also enjoy delicious fried foods like funnel cakes and corn dogs there. Better yet, try the green chili cheeseburger! You can also spend your time going on some heartbreaking carnival rides, listening to live music, and the occasional rodeo or goat roping. The commitment of the community is a great all-round trade fair event. You can often find local business owners selling their wares or see your classmates at the makeup booth.

“One of the best things about 4-H and the New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service is that they have a wide reach and are about teaching and spreading the New Mexico agriculture message,” said O’Toole. “The farming community is really a family that supports one another. In the words of 4-H, we work to make the best better. “