NewsMissoula County


Agriculture, hard work, take center stage at Western MT Fair

Posted at 9:11 AM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 11:12:46-04

MISSOULA — Agriculture is a big part of life in Montana -- and at the Western Montana Fair as well.

This week is the culmination of a lot of work for kids involved with 4-H and FFA.

Feeding, cleanup, grooming and lots more all go into raising one of these animals and participants can build an attachment to their livestock.

"Over the year I've become really attached to my market lambs and it's going to be hard to sell him," 4-H Senior Ambassador Sophie Kolb said. "But when all the shows are over and I'm finally able to go home, it's a little bit of a relief that I don't have so much pressure and all that stress is gone."

So much time goes into the process of raising one of these animals that some 4-h and FFA members consider it a job.

"I actually consider 4 H as my job throughout the summer and its nice to know that at the end I have a pay out and its going to be saved for things like college," Kolb told MTN News.

Besides the money from auctioning their animals, 4-H and FFA members gain some important life skills along the way.

"4-H has been a big part of my life. I started when I was nine years old and at the beginning I was super shy. I wouldn't have been able to do anything like this. Aand then going through 4-H I've learned things like orginizational skills," Kolb said.

"It's taught me confidence and how to show an animal and be humane to my animal. Most importantly 4-H is all about leadership that's what 4-H really means to me. "I would have never guessed that I would be as confident and as able to lead others and help others as I am now."

Kolb told us that cows and pigs tend to be the big draws for the livestock show and lots of kids raise multiple animals for the event.

This year she had two chickens and a rabbit. Last year she showed a cow -- and to show some real diversity -- a llama.