Concordia Lutheran High School FFA & 4-H
A study conducted at Texas Tech University was aimed at validating the perceived benefits of competitive youth livestock exhibition. The study used the following methods: (1) a review of historical documents (2) in depth interviewing and (3) observations to analyze real life situations. From the data, themes were generated to validate the perceived benefits of livestock exhibition.
Social relationships. The development of social relationships by showing livestock was the strongest theme to emerge throughout the data collection process. Participants in the study appeared to emphasize the importance of developing friends and social contacts. These friendships aid in the satisfaction of career goals as well as the simple need for companionship.
Character was the second theme to emerge in the study. The subcategories associated with this theme are as follows: responsibility, confidence, sportsmanship and how to deal with loss. Participants felt that character developed through exhibiting livestock promoted growth from a child to a successful adult.
Family togetherness and family values gave a meaning to what is desired as a life skill. It was apparent that participants in this study put emphasis on the importance of the family participating in activities together.
Exposure to Competition. The fourth theme in the study dealt with the competition that competitive livestock showing introduces to exhibitors. Two meanings developed from the theme of competition that stems from the phenomenon of participation in competitive events. One category resulted from the need to satisfy the desire of participation in competitive events. The other related to the exposure of winning and losing. This meaning was also apparent in the character theme.
Exposure to cultures. The fifth theme generated was exposure to diverse cultures that comes about from exhibiting livestock. Participants revealed that exposure to cities and the diversity of people that accompany major stock shows aid in the development of life skills.
Knowledge and care of animals. The last theme that emerged from the study was the knowledge and care of animals that exhibitors gain from showing livestock. Participants felt this knowledge was important, especially if it relates to a future career.
Animals that can be shown:
Market: Steers, Goats