“To make the best better.” “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” These two mottos represent the 4-H and FFA youth organizations. For some, these are just words, but for the boys and girls who participate in the programs wholeheartedly, these words are engrained into their daily actions, and become the way these young people-turned-adults live their lives.
County fairs are happening all over a majority of the country through the summer months, and one former 4-H member is enjoying being able to return to the county fair to help young exhibitors succeed with their swine projects.
Riley Faris is in her third year of volunteering at the Pueblo County Fair in Southeast Colorado. She showed at this same fair as an exhibitor, and is now in her third year coming back as a volunteer, assisting the swine superintendent with the hog show with duties ranging from weighing in the pigs, to breaking classes to helping manage the show on show day.
“I’m trying to help the youth with showing and learning how to take care of their animals. Coming from an agricultural background, it is important to instill in the youth the importance of agriculture and the role it plays in our everyday life. Plus, when I was growing up, I had a lot of people help me, so now that I’m older I want to return that to the younger kids,” Faris said.
Faris is not only helping youth understand the importance of agriculture and assisting with the annual hog show, but she is also trying to teach the young exhibitors and their parents the importance of keeping their animals healthy with the use of a good nutrition program. She is a dealer for BioZyme® Inc., a leader in animal health and nutrition through the use of supplements featuring a research-proven, precision-based prebiotic, Amaferm®.
At this year’s Pueblo County Fair, Faris is also sponsoring showmanship awards for the grand and reserve champion showman of each species, while promoting the products that help their livestock stay on feed and water and keep healthy.
“This year because of BioZyme and all of the support they offer, I was able to get showmanship banners for hogs, sheep, goats and beef. I am also giving each of the winners a little goodie bad with some additional fun things and added information about the Sure Champ® line, specifically designed for show animals,” she said.
She adds that she will enter the young people into a drawing If they do buy products from her and send her a photo of their animal once it has shown. She primarily hopes that more people learn about the importance of digestive health and its benefits.
In addition to the awards she is providing at Pueblo County, she has also reached out to neighboring Otero County to sponsor awards for the grand and reserve grand market animal classes.
“The most rewarding part is watching the new kids that come up through the programs or the kids that reach out to me succeed and seeing the look on their faces when they know they have accomplished something,” Faris said.
“To make the best better.” “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” To some these are just words, but to youth volunteers like Riley Faris with a passion for livestock and youth, these are the words they live by each day. She is making our future better by giving her time and talents.