Livestock show gives 4-H youth chance to show off

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

At a wispy 4-feet-10-inches-tall, Heath Hadley barely peeks out above his steer’s woolly body.

But the 10-year-old Parmer County boy had little trouble Saturday leading his 1,200-pound project around the show floor behind the Farwell Community Center.

Heath was among the dozens of Farwell FFA and 4-H members showing their steers, heifers, goats, sheep and swine at the annual Farwell Junior Livestock Show. Overall there were 51 entries at the show, according to Farwell Future Farmers of America Adviser Tomee England.

Aside from learning how to control animals more than 10-times his size, Heath said raising the animal has taught him responsibility, which is the point of the experience, according to England.

Heath said he’s also learned about financial management while raising his steer. But there is one task he could do without–washing the beast.

“He’s had to keep track of prices of feed,” said Heath’s father, Keith Hadley.

This is Heath’s second year exhibiting. He is following his older brother Hayden’s footsteps into raising and showing steers.

“(Heath) got tired of helping and not doing anything,” said Keith Hadley.

The purpose of the show is to give novice exhibitors experience for county and other major stock shows, according to England.

She said the FFA puts on the annual show, now more than 40 years old.

After Saturday’s show, Heath is off to the Fort Worth stockyard in February. Hadley said he’s spent between $2,500 to $3,000 raising the steer, which they plan to sell at market price for beef.