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FOR THE PARENTS OF KIDS RAISING LIVESTOCK
by
Chris Schalberger
www.sdksundancekids.com

Recently, I have had people that have complained that their child doesn't get enough raising a goat at the auction. Well, look at the comparison Goat Vs. Beef, and have your kids also do a comparison on the Swine and Lambs. Also, have them talk to the local slaughterhouses and ask them what they get per pound. While your contemplating doing the homework on this....read on.

Who said that raising animals for the fair is all for profit??? Raising any animal, swine, lamb or even beef...there is no "guarantee" price at the fair. These kids must learn how to market themselves and the animal. This is a real "learning" experience. Those who are in it for an "all profit" are missing the biggest point, and may even miss the "almighty buck". (No pun intended!).
Learning to take care of an animal.
Setting up structure to feed the animal, exercise it, play with it.
Working on showmanship, learning the parts of the animal.
Learning about the digestive system, how to give vaccinations, de-worm, and nutrition.
What to do when it gets sick, or is off feed.
How to learn about fat coverage, structural conformation, and loin length.
How to get out in the ring and compete.
Attend the fair and be a part of the fair.
Winning and losing.
Knowing that life's experiences aren't all about winning!
Talking to people about the animal you are raising...and raising their awareness.
Getting them to taste it and try it.

There are a lot of life's lessons to be learned with raising an animal, including sometimes the untimely death before you get that animal to the fair. The auction is just sometimes that extra payoff for the learning experience.
Still not convinced? Just think about the learning experience and the cost of say a Goat. If we use the Goat vs Steer Chart - and say the goat costs $245.00 as an end product. Your child could have the start in the following professions:
Care & Feeding Mother, Father, Health Care worker
Walking and Exercising Coach, Trainer, PE Instructor
Giving Vaccinations Medical Doctor - Veterinarian
What to do if they get sick Doctor - Vet - Pharmacist
Trimming Hooves Pedicurist
Fitting & Shearing Animal Groomer, Barber, Hairstylist
Mucking out Pens Janitor, Sanitation Engineer
Teaching your animal to walk and set up Teacher, Animal Trainer
Typing up letters to send out Secretary, Computer Operator
Sending out letters to buyers Advertising, Marketing
Talking to people about their goat Salesman, Politician
Giving buyers a taste of goat meat Cook, Restaurant Owner, Caterer
Writing a Contract for a buyer Lawyer
Showing your animal in the ring Actor, Actress, Lawyer
Exhibiting your animal at the fair Salesman, Designer, Store Owner
Selling your animal at auction Entrepreneur, Actor, Owner
Figuring out your Profit or Loss Accountant, Bookkeeper
The process of starting something and finishing it President of the United States
Now compare that to the Game Boy and/or X-Box that your child(ren) received for Christmas or birthdays and the games that go with it, the many hours spent in front of these games and what they accomplish.

My bet is, the more you think about it, raising an animal is a little more rewarding, prepares them for the future, and let see....$200 X-Box and $50 games....well that just puts the cost about in line with raising a small animal, don't you agree?

Chris Schallberger
Sundance Kids


 

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