• By Ryan Farley, Extension Agent

4-H/Youth Development

Parents: Set example of good sportsmanship

Source: Steve Austin, extension associate for youth livestock programs Livestock shows are some of the most anticipated and recognized events at many county fairs. With fairs now beginning, it’s important for parents to remember to set a good example for their children by exhibiting good sportsmanship during these popular events.

As a parent, your behavior is so important because you serve as major influencer and important role model for your children and for other young people. They will take note of how you act when faced with an adverse situation and may emulate your behavior.

It is important for parents and youth participants to gracefully accept a judge’s decision and respect other participants and their families.

Keep your comments about the judges and other participants positive. Remember that livestock judging is subjective. While judges are given a criteria to follow, some will emphasize certain areas over others. The most important thing for the judge is for them to be consistent in their evaluation of animals. Remember it is just one person’s opinion.

If your youth does not receive their desired outcome, they are likely going to be disappointed. Take this time to point out things that went right with showing their animal or discuss all the things they have learned through the preparation or showing process. You can also talk about a time when something didn’t go your way and how you were able to learn and grow from it.

Remember that the skills young people learn by showing livestock far outweigh for longer any ribbons they may earn. For more information, contact the Woodford County Cooperative Extension Service.

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