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Hard work pays off for 4-Hers

by Daily Inter Lake
| August 20, 2023 12:00 AM

The Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo always provides many memorable moments. This year was no exception watching young competitors who are nearing the end of a long journey raising animals or practicing talents to enter exhibits at the fair.

As the fair wraps up today, we have to hand out kudos to those young competitors. We’re impressed by the Flathead Valley youth who spent hours in the barn working with their animals in preparation for the show ring and caring for them before they head to market. We’re also giving our admiration to those who practiced their baking skills in the kitchen and spent hours at the sewing machine.

It’s always impressive to see the hard work and dedication put into their efforts.

As Jennifer Crofts, the mom of two competitors raising pigs, told reporter Kate Heston the experience provides a great sense of direction.

“It teaches them responsibility and they have to be prepared to answer questions and know a lot about their pig,” she said.

The Brist children were showing sheep, goats and cows during the fair last week. Father Rob told reporter Hilary Matheson just how important the journey is for his children and the family.

“It’s a sense of pride to see my children learning agriculture and working the same fields and the same types of animals that their ancestors did,” Rob said. “There’s no limit to what children can learn from agriculture.”

Winning a blue ribbon for her steer, Ione Plummer explained to reporter Taylor Inman the journey of raising an animal to take to show and market. The fair provides the opportunity to see just how much work these young people put in.

“It's not something you can get away with just doing a lazy job. Because it shows in the end and you have to put in all the work. I've learned through the years just to always put in the best and that's what you'll get back,” Plummer said.

It’s great to see competitors like Lilly Joern, who was showing her miniature horse, already looking to mentor younger competitors. She told reporter Adrian Knowler that her involvement in 4-H has taught her important skills that she is working to pass on.

“I think it’s more interesting for the kids to be taught by someone my age,” the 17-year-old said. “I remember looking up to the older kids at their age and now I’m that person.”

These youth have worked their tails off and so we also pass our thank you to the local businesses and organizations that support them during the 4-H/FFA Market Stock Sale by purchasing an animal. It’s awesome to see youth rewarded for their hard work and help them put money away for the future.