4-H kids get a special shot to show their sheep in the summer

Meet the kids behind the Summer Market Lamb Show in Montgomery County, Tennessee, and hear why they would rather spend their Saturdays showing lambs than doing anything else!

Most kids in 4-H and FFA show their livestock during the spring or fall, but in Montgomery County, Tennessee, there is a show just for youth that takes place during the summer. RFD-TV’s ‘Tammi Arender got a chance to meet some of these youngsters at the recent lamb show.

Arminda Burleson, 11, of Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee, is getting her sheep show-ring ready at the Summer Market Lamb Show. She could be at the lake or the swimming pool on this summer day but she chooses to be here at the Bartee Agriculture Center in Clarksville, Tenn.

“It teaches you how to take care of your sheep because it teaches you how to learn about animals and see other people do it--and it’s a very fun experience,” Burleson told RFD-TV. “You have to prep your sheep.”

Burleson is one of about 80 competitors at this Summer Market Lamb Show. She and the other kids come from the five counties in Tennessee and Southern Kentucky that surround Montgomery County.

“I’m here to win some banners--it makes me feel so happy and excited,” said eight-year-old Olivia Jenkins.

When asked for some sage showing advice, Jenkins said, “Tell them: Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but the only thing is to keep your eye on the judge and set them up.”

Many of these kids are raised on a farm, but some are not. So, this event is a great opportunity to expose them to farm animals and the joys and responsibility of taking care of animals.

“It was something they could start sort of as school was ending and give them a project they could carry on into the summer,” said Tom Barnett, President of the Montgomery Co. Cattlemen’s Association. “Everybody doesn’t play baseball or ride horses. This has been something, as you can see – I think this is our biggest year ever.”

He says this arena was built with one purpose: to give youth in this area a chance to learn about agriculture.

“It was very important to give the youth of this county, and the surrounding counties, another place they could come and participate in 4-H and events that would teach them that hard work will pay off,” Barnett said. “Nobody is born a 55-year-old farmer or ranch manager. Without our youth in agriculture--that’s where it starts—we will be hungry.”

Barnett says the arena was built by donations from volunteers in that community. No state money was used.

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