‘It’s a tough deal’: New rule change prevents some 4-H members from showing livestock

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MOVILLE, Iowa (KCAU) – Now that county fairs are back in full swing, a main attraction for many families is the 4-H livestock showings. But a new rule means some 4-H kids won’t get to show their animals.

The Iowa State Extension made a change to the rules in 2019 that some families weren’t aware of, meaning some 4-H kids can’t participate this year.

“It really is about aligning with the Iowa State fair guidelines for livestock. And it does require livestock that’s entered at the county level to have two forms of identification for each project, each animal,” said Iowa State Extension Regional Manager Molly Hewitt.

ISU representatives say before 2019, livestock only required one form of identification to enter in the county fair shows. Cody Griffin, a father with kids in 4-H, expresses his sympathy for families affected by the change.

“It’s a tough deal. I mean, it’s a deal where you feel for the parent, you feel for the child, and these animals, a lot of these animals were purchased nearly a year ago. So 12 months worth of time, money, effort and energy has gone into these animals getting ready for today or this week,” said Griffin, a parent of children in 4-H.

Reid Huth is part of Kingsley-Pierson FFA. He said preparing his cattle for the fair is time consuming.

“Well for per day, probably about two to three hours depending on how many calves I’m doing. If I’m doing all six, it could be almost an all day thing. If I’m doing just my two, it could be just maybe a few hours,” said Huth.

But for Griffin, he said there is a silver lining.

“There’s a couple of shows after this up in Marcus, Iowa here. The Marcus Fair allows for kids to show up that day, enter in, and go to the ring and show,” said Griffin.

And ISU representatives say there are lessons to be learned.

“You know, what we’ll do with this is certainly take feedback and make sure that as a team, we can make improvements anytime along the way to do better and be better and make sure that doesn’t happen for families in the future,” said Hewitt.

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