Most of us can probably remember being a child and getting involved in an activity like Little League, gymnastics, 4-H or the school band. For some, it may have been a way to pass the time or something encouraged by our parents, and for others it likely began a lifelong passion. Even for those of us who didn’t become professional baseball players, world-renowned musicians or Olympic gymnasts like we were sure we would, it’s likely we can say that we took some skills and lessons away from our involvement in those activities.

The same goes for more than 175 4-H and FFA members who attended the Rockingham Cooperative’s second Market Animal College to teach children how to increase their chances of success at livestock fairs on Saturday at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds, according to an article in Monday’s edition of the Daily News-Record.

“We saw an opportunity to help the 4-H and FFA participants here in Rockingham County — as well as all across our footprint that Rockingham Cooperative has — to help them be better prepared for their livestock showing career,” said Adam Ford, event organizer and marketing specialist for Rockingham Cooperative.

Many of these children have found a passion in agriculture and livestock fairs and those who attended this event showcased just how dedicated they are. Hopefully they learned how to succeed at upcoming projects and even a future in agriculture.

But even for those who don’t go on to directly work in farming, they can take away several skills to apply to whatever they decide to do.

Skills like leadership, good listening, being receptive and compassionate to animals, a strong work ethic and tenacity are all vital to succeeding in life — no matter the path one pursues. These are skills our area agricultural professionals have, as do many other successful folks in our community. So any organization teaching these things to our children is doing a positive thing.

“Everybody has done it a first time and it takes time to get better,” said Katherine Carter, extension assistant youth livestock programming specialist. “The more they practice, the more they ask questions, the harder they work — then the confidence will come.”

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