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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to host regional 4-H livestock school in Santa Fe

SANTA FE ? An annual livestock school for 4-H members will be a regional event this year, and will be offered in a new location.

Line of kids holding goats by collars.
4-H members and their project goats wait for instruction in showmanship during a livestock school. This year?s Regional 4-H Livestock School will be June 19 to 20 in Santa Fe. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

The Regional 4-H Livestock School will be held June 19 and 20 in Santa Fe.

Historically, the New Mexico 4-H Livestock School has been held at the New Mexico Expo grounds in Albuquerque, but a decrease in enrollment forced the cancellation of the week-long event last year. The school was hosted by New Mexico State University?s Cooperative Extension Service 4-H Youth Development Program.

?Last year, we just didn?t have enough kids signed up to break even,? said Rick Richardson, interim department head for the program. ?It could have been the cost or scheduling; whatever the reason, we had to make a tough decision to cancel the school.?

The Small Farm and Ranch Task Force, comprising Extension agents in northern New Mexico counties, has stepped up to provide an alternative ? a two-day school at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds.

?A regional livestock school is a great idea,? Richardson said. ?More than 60 of the 100 youth attending the livestock school in the past were from a three-county area around Albuquerque.?

Extension agents from the Small Farm and Ranch Task Force will conduct the showmanship training and other sessions on raising project animals.

?Registration is a first-come, first-served basis,? said Steve Lucero, Sandoval County Extension 4-H and agricultural agent. ?The school size is limited to 30 swine projects, 30 lamb projects and 30 goat projects.?

The cost of the school is $50 per person, which includes one meal on Saturday and stall space for a maximum of two project animals. Participants must provide their own feed for their animals, a feed-water trough and bedding. Additional meals for family members may be purchased at $9 each.

?The youth will be expected to clean the stalls, so they need to bring shovel, pitchfork or rack for the task,? Lucero said. ?The task force is excited to provide the school, particularly for the new 4-H members seeking showmanship training as they prepare for fair season.?

Registration for the event is only through local county 4-H Extension agents, and the deadline to register is June 8.