By Sheila G. Kelley CSU 4-H Extension agent, Elbert County

Colorado

Time and experience have proven that graduated students of most 4-H animal judging teams have benefited from the experience by leaving the team as more mature and better prepared individuals.

According to the American Quarter Horse Association, the experience often reaches into all areas of the individuals' lives, through their business, educational and personal relationships. They learn to evaluate situations and experiences prior to making a judgment. In other words, successful judging team members learn to "look before they leap."

Several counties in the Golden Plains Area have active livestock judging programs.

Being a member of any competitive judging team strengthens analytical and decision-making skills. The team members also develop personal confidence and public speaking abilities.

Along with personal life skills, members learn how to be part of an effective, efficient team. They work together and learn from each other. They use hard facts to make thoughtful decisions, instead of relying on their intuition, which makes them a more consistent performer.

Judgers learn to organize their thoughts by analyzing the classes; taking clear, concise notes; memorizing their notes and then presenting and persuading the judges with their results.

Lessons in responsibility, leadership, maturity, pride, dedication and success are all part of livestock judging. Your child could greatly benefit from being a part of one or more of our outstanding judging teams.

If your child is interested in joining 4-H or you would like further information, please contact an area Extension office near you: Kit Carson County, 719-346-5571; Sedgwick County, 970-474-3479; Phillips County, 970-854-3616; Washington County, 970-345-2287 and Yuma County, 970-332-4151. The 4-H Youth Development Program is a cooperative effort between Colorado State University Extension and the Golden Plains Area participating counties.

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