East Texas kids learn life lessons from livestock

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – It's almost show time for the goats, lambs, steer and other livestock raised by East Texas kids.  The months of preparation teaching them life lessons.

"Checking in for the show and weighing them to see what class division we're in," said Randall Martin.

That's after months of downright hard work from the youngsters who choose to raise livestock for the Youth Fair. In that time, life lessons are learned. Like sacrifice, which wasn't easy for high school senior Randall Martin.

"You got to cut out some activities like weekend activities... Hanging out with friends and stuff," said Martin.

For 8th grader Clayton Ditsworth the experience of raising a goat teaches persistence.

"When you're starting out with them they'll try to resist, be rebellious.  Sometimes they kick and push.  He's crazy," said Clayton Ditsworth.

Raising larger livestock is a lot like raising kids.  It takes a whole lot of patience. The Martin brothers must have a whole lot. They're showing lambs, notorious for their bad behavior.

"I guess they have a mind of their own.  They want to do what they want to do or at least try," said Randall Martin.

"They're the hardest thing in 4-H you can do," said Colton Martin.

Steers aren't the most easy-going animals either. Patience is a virtue owned by 8th-grader Cheyenne Swor.

"Teaching them because they can be wild and stupid at first," said Swor.

Also, don't expect the goats to cooperate.

"When I first started I was getting really mad at him but this is my second goat," said Ditsworth.

Being prepared for the responsibility of raising a big animal is also important.

"You better have a really good pen and home and shelter for them.  Be sure that you're ready for it because they look for care," said Swor.

Lessons learned for a lifetime of good character.

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