Ag Students' Preparations Kick into High Gear for Oklahoma Youth ExpoFri, 08 Mar 2013 17:11:05 CST
Just like agriculture education instructors all across the state, Brandon Morgan of Newcastle is helping his students prepare for the Oklahoma Youth Expo which will be held at State Fair Park March 16-26. He took some time to speak to Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays about the OYE and what it takes for students to get there. (Morgan appears on "In the Field" about 6:40 a.m. Saturday morning on News 9. You can also hear an extended conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story.)
Morgan said it takes a lot of work for exhibitors to get to the OYE. Depending on the species selected, it can be a yearlong project for some students and a six-month-long project for others.
He said the first step is selecting a quality animal and then committing oneself to the care, training, and grooming of the animal.
"I try to tell kids and my kids, it's like a job. From day one you get out of it what you put into it. You have to want and have that desire to be successful from the first day that you get that animal until you compete with that animal at the culmination point.
"If a kid gets their animal and goes through the trials and tribulations of the different weather cycles, sicknesses and illnesses that come through, there are so many factors and variables that play a part.
"They can come in and show throughout the summers and winter, the jackpots and practice shows, local shows, district shows, county shows and then they work to that point.
"Even preceding that, a student has to go through a nomination procedure in October and November and decide at that point if that animal is good enough, and is OK, and will make it on.
"What that does is it provides some ownership and some proof of ownership for those students. And it's a good way to provide ownership for those kids for lack of a better term."
"This program, to me, is just something that cannot be touched, in my mind, in terms of what it does for young people. The life skills that a kid gains through showing livestock are unmatched.
"I just feel like from the responsibility, the management, a student learning time management and how to care for something is just an unbelievable process that they can learn from."
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