North Dakota 4-H champions to learn from state leaders at livestock showmanship contest

North Dakota State University Extension
Public leaders learn from 4-H'ers during the North Dakota Public Leaders 4-H Showmanship Event.

North Dakota 4-H’ers will have an opportunity to share their livestock showmanship knowledge with state leaders as part of the North Dakota Public Leaders 4-H Showmanship Event at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 29, at the North Dakota State Fair All Season Arena in Minot.

The 24 4-H’ers who win champion or reserve champion at the intermediate and senior level in showmanship for six livestock species at the North Dakota State Fair earlier that week will be paired with a North Dakota leader for the Public Leaders 4-H Showmanship Event. The youth will give their leader tips on how to show a specific species of livestock. The youth also will teach the leader the importance of the technique for showing the assigned livestock species.

Following that, the leaders will compete in the livestock showmanship contest. Judges will be the youth who coached the leaders in the respective age divisions. Leaders who win will receive a banner that they can hang in their offices. In addition, the leaders will have their photo taken. The photos will be framed to honor the leaders’ involvement.

“This event achieves many things: showcasing the great 4-H youth, their communication and showmanship skills, connects youth with adults in leadership roles across the state, and provides 4-H’ers the opportunity to teach someone else what they have learned in the 4-H program,” North Dakota State University Extension associate director Lynette Flage said.

Leigh Ann Skurupey, assistant director of NDSU Extension’s Center for 4-H Youth Development, agrees.

“The North Dakota Public Leaders 4-H Showmanship Event will provide several exciting opportunities,” Skurupey said.

Here are a few of them:

  • Cultivate an opportunity where youth can engage in public speaking, communication and leadership skills with the state’s public leaders. This is an excellent setting for senior and intermediate round robin champions and reserve champions to gain workforce development skills. These youth will teach the public leader they are paired with how to show their champion animal, which creates the perfect platform for working on communication, confidence and leadership skills.
  • Provide an opportunity to network with public leaders; some of these youth may not find this kind of opportunity anywhere else
  • Provide a way for public leaders to invest in and engage with North Dakota 4-H’ers firsthand in a hands-on, learn-by-doing atmosphere
  • Offer an opportunity to bring youth, families, public leaders and the community to a fun and exciting event at the North Dakota State Fair

“It’s a way to connect our leaders today with our leaders of tomorrow,” said Kurt Froelich, Extension’s agriculture and natural resources agent for Stark and Billings counties and a member of NDSU Extension’s 4-H animal science program planning committee.

Leaders who have been invited to participate include Sen. John Hoven, NDSU President and first lady David and Katie Cook along with area legislators and other state leaders.