Life skill development and financial impact associated with a youth livestock sales program

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Journal of Youth Development


The Sale of Junior Champions is a premier livestock auction and youth scholarship program held at Dixie Nationals as a part of Mississippi’s junior livestock program. The sale is open to 4-H and FFA members who qualified their livestock at the annual Dixie National Junior Round-Up. While youth livestock sales programs are commonly found at state and county fairs throughout the United States, demographic information and information concerning financial and life skill impacts of the program on participants is limited. Therefore, a survey instrument for the 2018 sale was designed to determine how the event has impacted the financial burden of continued education and life skill development of youth participants. Paper and electronic surveys were distributed during and after the event. Responses (n = 176) reflected a diverse group of participants including 4-H/FFA members (22%), parents of youth (22%), volunteers (21%), Extension employees/FFA advisors (22%), sale buyers/sponsors (12%), and others (2%). Most participants (45%) were older (40-60 years old). Almost half of the respondents (43%) had attended the sale 6 or more times, while 10% were first-time attendees. A driving force for attendance appeared to be the scholarships as 33% received or had a youth receiving a scholarship. Program participation promoted improvement in all life skills measured. Future educational goals in youths were reported to be positively impacted by sale participation (p < 0.001). Understanding of sale participant demographics and financial and life skill impacts will assist in program justification, future program growth, and identifying groups where participation can be strengthened.

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