May 2007
4-H Extension Corner

  Thanks seniors for all of the help you have given to the many younger showmen and show women during the past few years. They have mighty big shoes to fill! Randa Owen of Dekalb County (far left) won first place in Class Twenty-Five showmanship at the Alabama Junior Beef Expo. Joining Owen are left to right: second –Nicholas Graham, Cullman County; third – Matthew Pounds, Montgomery County; fourth – Skye Black, Chambers County; and fifth – Lindsey Eddy, Cullman County. This showmanship class was sponsored by the Diamond M Club Calves.
Welcome back to our 4-H life! Things have not slowed down at all. It is a great relief when you finish with a yearlong project. But, before they are gone to become someone’s next great meal, you have next year’s project at the house ready to be fed everyday. Your goals and dreams are that this year will be better and more rewarding than the last. It really is a nice way for young men and women to learn responsibilities and values!

Kids, make sure you thank those that helped you through the year and gave of their time to you and your endeavor. A very large THANK YOU to all the sponsors and supporters of this BIG event! Hope you enjoy these photos from the state show in Montgomery.

Parents, you might as well get used to it: the internet is here to stay. Services like Youtube, MySpace and instant messaging will become increasingly important to young people. For many kids, MySpace is today’s front porch, where teens get together to talk and to build their social skills. Young people use the internet to organize church picnics, discuss homework or simply chatter about their latest crushes or favorite TV shows.

There are certainly risks associated with the internet, but with common sense and open communications, parents and young people can feel much more confident about who and what the internet allows into their homes.

Above, those shoes might be big but here is a set ready to start down the road to gather the skills and knowledge to be competitive for years to come! Heather Blackburn of Chambers County (far left) won first place in Class Twelve showmanship at the Alabama Junior Beef Expo. Joining Blackburn are left to right: second– Hillary Goodson, Coffee County; third – Paige Crowell, Tuscaloosa County; fourth – Raegan Knight, Chilton County; and fifth – Kayla Shropshire, Chilton County. This showmanship class was sponsored by Circle E Farm of Fort Deposit.  
A first rule for parents is to learn about the internet. Ask your child to tutor you! Have them show you the places they like to visit and the websites they and their friends like to use. They will be proud to teach you what they know. And make using the internet a family experience – ask them to help you plan a vacation, research family history or look at movie reviews or sports stories.

The more you learn, the better the family internet experience will be. There are a variety of services that can help screen internet use. If you choose to use these, explain to your child why you are using it and how it reflects your family’s values. Recognize, of course, that no filter can keep out everything that you might find objectionable, so filters should be used in tandem with good communications.

Talk with your teens about what they can and cannot do online. Remember what it was like when you were their age and understand that they are developing their own interests and have a great deal of curiosity about the world and about other people. Be flexible and set reasonable expectations that recognize their growing need for independence and privacy.

The degree of independence should be age-appropriate. It’s generally a good idea for the computer to be in a public room where you can glance over your child’s shoulder. Every now and then, you should be able to peek at their MySpace or Facebook pages.

Randa Owen of Dekalb County showed the Grand Champion Steer at the 2007 Alabama Junior Beef Expo. This animal was also the Champion Medium-weight Steer. Sysco of Central Alabama sponsors the awards for Champion steer. Ethan Lake of Cullman County showed the Reserve Grand Champion Steer at the 2007 Alabama Junior Beef Expo. This animal was also the Grand Champion Alabama Bred Steer, the Champion Heavyweight Steer and the Champion Alabama Bred Heavyweight Steer. A great tribute to Steve Craft, a visionary who worked with SYSCO! Carla Weissend of Montgomery County won the Steve Craft Memorial Award for High Percentage Intramuscular Fat in the Ultrasound Show at the 2007 Alabama Junior Beef Expo.

Until next time, God Bless!

James Shropshire is the Alabama 4-H Regional Extension Agent for the Central Alabama Region. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..