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Russell Nemetz Cattlemen in Idaho Partner with U of I for Youth
by Russell Nemetz, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: June 07, 2019

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Professionals across all agricultural sectors are nearing retirement age and the future of our food supply will be impacted. One glimmer of hope for the future of agriculture is in youth programs like 4-H and FFA. Recognizing the potential, Kim Judy, President of the Payette River Cattleman's Association approached Rebecca Mills, University of Idaho Extension Educator for Gem and Boise counties, about a partnership to inspire area youth to connect with local cattle producers. A small sub-committee was formed, brain-storming ensued, and the result is a project called the "Steer Shoot-Out Essay Contest" to be piloted in Gem and Boise counties beginning June 2019.

The goals of the "Steer Shoot-Out Essay Contest" are to: connect local youth with local cattle producers, engage youth with industry issues and topics, develop and practice livestock evaluation skills, and provide an opportunity for youth to experience the market steer project with minimal start-up costs. The ultimate goal, of course, is to inspire and educate the next generation of cattle producers on what it takes to grow quality beef products.

To participate, youth must be members of 4-H or FFA entering grades 7-11 in Fall 2019. The winning youth will also be expected to become a member of the PRCA. Prior experience with beef projects is not required. As part of the application process, youth will write a short essay (500-1,200 words) on a predetermined topic. The winner will choose their project animal from a group of steers donated by local producers. Over the course of the year, youth will be asked to give progress reports to the PRCA and meet all necessary requirements to exhibit and sell the steer at the 2020 Gem/Boise County Fair.

The Payette River Cattleman's Association (PRCA) membership is open to producers and industry supporters from Gem, Boise, Payette and Valley counties. While the inaugural "Steer Shoot-Out Essay Contest" will be open to youth from Gem and Boise counties, the PRCA plans to expand the contest into the other Association counties in coming years.

This year's essay topic is: Why are ethics important in the Beef Industry? The steers for the winning youth to choose from will be donated by Haw Creek Ranch. Applications are now available and will be due July 31, 2019 with the winner to be announced during the Youth Livestock Sale at the Gem/Boise County Fair Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019.

For more information about the "Steer Shoot-Out Essay Contest" or to request an application, please contact the University of Idaho Extension Office located at 2199 S. Johns Ave, in Emmett. You may also call the office at 208-365-6363 or email Rebecca Mills at rmills@uidaho.edu.

Source: Idaho Press

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