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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you 4H leaders make it so the parents dont take over the kids 4H project. Ive never had this problem before but recently the families in our club wont let the kids do anything! I understand they are trying to learn as well and have the experience but they clip the goats for them, handle all the goats maintenance (feed, vet appointments etc) The kids go to fairs not knowing how to do anything and the parents use this as an excuse to keep them from doing anything. What do I do? Has anyone else been seeing this?
 

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Come to our fair and watch all the kids play on their electronics and the parents doing all the work. Our leaders daughter is 17, she has been showing from the start, she does jack pot shows all year long as well and she could t even help my kids clip their wethers tail.
I really don’t think there is anything that can be done. Our fair actually has a rule that only the kids will fit the animals and even if they enforced it I’m sure it would just be done at home by the parent.
My kids are 10 and 12, they do the whole body clipping on their wethers 100%. The does I have them clip inside the “lines” and then I come threw and clean it up. It may not be considered right but my kids are up against parents that do it all as well as ones that pay someone to do the clipping. A ribbon is not everything to my kids but I want them to have a fighting chance.
The feeding that is all them! The only time I will feed is if they are sick, like badly sick, or at the fair in the mornings because they still attend school and it’s a hour away. They do it in the evening and on the weekend.
It’s not right for parents to do it all. But I look at it as their problem. If they are fine raising lazy kids, kids that don’t take pride in their work and have no work ethics then I hope they have a nice basement for their kids to spend their whole life at home. 4H is supposed to teach kids all of this! It’s supposed to get kids ready for a successful career in agriculture. To be a upstanding citizen of their community. It’s really sad when most parents think that 4H is only for ribbons or their way to live threw their kids :(
 

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:up:
The same problems are with our 4-H kids. Especially the horse clubs. My daughters' club hated me. I dropped the kids off in the am, they did all the horse chores and I couldn't get back until after work. I never did the helicopter parent thing.

The goat club did tell the parents they were welcome to come to the meetings, but they had to stay in another room and could drink coffee and eat donuts, etc. while the kids ran the meeting. (3 Leaders were present). Those kids did most of the work at he fair. Most of the parents sat in a tent thing and yapped while the kids cared for the animals.
 

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How do you 4H leaders make it so the parents dont take over the kids 4H project. Ive never had this problem before but recently the families in our club wont let the kids do anything! I understand they are trying to learn as well and have the experience but they clip the goats for them, handle all the goats maintenance (feed, vet appointments etc) The kids go to fairs not knowing how to do anything and the parents use this as an excuse to keep them from doing anything. What do I do? Has anyone else been seeing this?
Our parents are not allowed to do anything at fair. Not even change a water bucket or anything! The kids will be disqualified from the auction if they do. All parents know this. I have been a leader for many years and our kids do pretty well with their own projects, some you can tell have not worked them enough at home though. You can't stop the parents from helping at home, they have a huge financial interest in the animal as well. If the kids show poorly in the ring, they get a red ribbon and will not be allowed to auction, so there is a huge incentive for the kids to put in the time at home.
 

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First, I want to say I think it's great for those of you who actually have a goat club, be thankful for that even if there are things that are aggravating. Here in our county we have '2' families showing goats - a total of 4 kids. My 2 kids and my neighbors 2 kids. This is my son's last summer showing as youth. We have a 'livestock' club, and there are a few kids that show sheep and cattle, and now I think maybe 2-3 that are doing swine. Majority of the kids do the country ham project.
If you ask my kids what they learned in 4-H about their goats from our club? They will tell you NOTHING! :( Our ag agent doesn't know anything about animals which does not help.
We do not have a county '4-H show' to spotlight our kids that do show. We do have a really good county fair show, it's open to all KY youth for market/commercial classes, and has an open breeding show for Boer & dairy (so any age/not just youth can show). We do love our fair. But nothing that makes the county kids feel like a 'standout.' :( Nothing to draw in more interest. For years it's just been my kids, until our neighbors joined last year. We had 1 other family years ago.

So with that said, we are envious of clubs that actually have goat related clubs and learn.

We do things here as a family. I am in charge of the goats and oversee everything. Sadly, my kids nor my husband have ventured into learning stuff on their own, so it's been left up to me.
My son just graduated and works 5 days a week, and not sure he will stay involved in the goats like he was. My 12 year old daughter is trying to learn.
The kids help with barn chores, my daughter generally is in charge of doing water (not an easy job - hauling the 2 gallon bucks to 4-5 pens/areas with minimum of 2 buckets per pen - 1 regular water and 1 Blue Lite). We use hay bedding, so it's a pain when we need to clean, and we have to use a wheel barrow - so no breaks there with a wagon.

Usually my daughter washes the goats and blow dries them (except for the bigger or stronger goats), and I clip them and trim feet. My son usually cleans the barn/shelters or cuts the grass and weed eats when we are doing this. He will wash and shave his own wethers though.
We have 20 goats and 17 have health papers to be shown! Some will go to one show, others to another. All but 2 are breeding Boer goats. Anyone showing Boer know how 'fun' the fitting/clipping can be. I'm not great at it at all, my son is not a fan of it, but my 12yo daughter is trying to learn and I'm planning to let her help 'clean up' the ones I clipped a couple of weeks ago who need areas touched up/fixed.

At the shows, the kids are responsible for washing their own goats, but I'll usually help them, since we tend to take a lot of goats. They are responsible for doing water, and we all take turns checking hay/grain. We work together unloading and loading truck and goats. Then unloading truck when we get home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Our fairs also do not allow parents or other members older than 18 to care for the animals unless in an emergency. Which is great until the kids who come not even knowing how to feed their animals or the parents who think they are entitled to caring for their kids goats.
 

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Every county fair, rules, competition, knowledge and investment varies SO widely. As an advisor I wish we had more kids in the dairy end - lots of interest in meat. Not every kid is interested in their project or have a desire to learn more - becoming more of a vehicle in our area to get a premium at market. That being said, there are some clubs who do a great job and have kids interested in going on to open shows. You can only provide what the market will bear - we've posted info about open show opportunities, showmanship workshops, LA information - but no one comes. Parents who are used to doing everything give the extension boards and overseeing associations a really hard time to enforce kid participation in our county - so we do the best we can and provide knowledge to those who want it. Do I wish it were different? Of course! Will it change - probably not.
 

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I get the impression that the very idea of 4H is being lost. By competing? I am not sure, but I am wondering how these "helping" parents do with their children's school work? Are they doing all the homework as well, not allowing the students to - study?
 

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I agree! I know kids who show their Boer wethers at our county 4-H and those to girls were the only ones doing anything! They brought 2 goats and 2 pigs this year and did very well. 1st place on a pig and 1st place on a goat. 5th place an the other goat and 8th place on the other pig. Anyways, when I was there I saw kids running around with their friends and their parents were washing, feeding, shearing,drenching, walking, setting up heir goats etc... It just really bothers me that 4h isnt what it used to be. It is supposed to teach responsibility to the kids, and now, the kids get to goof off while their parents do all the work
 

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And all the learning!! One of my friends commented "Why not set up 4H for grown-ups?"

I say, yes, why not? Town people of today do not have the knowledge of "everybody" in older times!

But I wonder, why all this competing? What is a ribbon worth, compared with the love and knowledge we get from working with our animals and crops? And the health - and JOY - we gain from eating home-grown food?
 

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Being a leader myself we make it clear from the start that this is the kids project, and we expect them to be able to care, feed and participate solo come fair. Our fair is just over a month out and we had a pre fair meeting where we made it clear again. We also set up shave days/times. Some parents drop the kids and goats off, some parents stay, but regardless its just us leaders, and the kids shaving the goats. Same with meetings, we do a few “hands on”. The kids all participate in trimming hooves, shots, deworming etc. We as a group also made our county proficiency day mandatory this year, to get everyone caught up on the basics. I must say, i have a pretty great group of kids though.
 

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First, I want to say I think it's great for those of you who actually have a goat club, be thankful for that even if there are things that are aggravating. Here in our county we have '2' families showing goats - a total of 4 kids. My 2 kids and my neighbors 2 kids. This is my son's last summer showing as youth. We have a 'livestock' club, and there are a few kids that show sheep and cattle, and now I think maybe 2-3 that are doing swine. Majority of the kids do the country ham project.
If you ask my kids what they learned in 4-H about their goats from our club? They will tell you NOTHING! :( Our ag agent doesn't know anything about animals which does not help.
We do not have a county '4-H show' to spotlight our kids that do show. We do have a really good county fair show, it's open to all KY youth for market/commercial classes, and has an open breeding show for Boer & dairy (so any age/not just youth can show). We do love our fair. But nothing that makes the county kids feel like a 'standout.' :( Nothing to draw in more interest. For years it's just been my kids, until our neighbors joined last year. We had 1 other family years ago.

So with that said, we are envious of clubs that actually have goat related clubs and learn.

We do things here as a family. I am in charge of the goats and oversee everything. Sadly, my kids nor my husband have ventured into learning stuff on their own, so it's been left up to me.
My son just graduated and works 5 days a week, and not sure he will stay involved in the goats like he was. My 12 year old daughter is trying to learn.
The kids help with barn chores, my daughter generally is in charge of doing water (not an easy job - hauling the 2 gallon bucks to 4-5 pens/areas with minimum of 2 buckets per pen - 1 regular water and 1 Blue Lite). We use hay bedding, so it's a pain when we need to clean, and we have to use a wheel barrow - so no breaks there with a wagon.

Usually my daughter washes the goats and blow dries them (except for the bigger or stronger goats), and I clip them and trim feet. My son usually cleans the barn/shelters or cuts the grass and weed eats when we are doing this. He will wash and shave his own wethers though.
We have 20 goats and 17 have health papers to be shown! Some will go to one show, others to another. All but 2 are breeding Boer goats. Anyone showing Boer know how 'fun' the fitting/clipping can be. I'm not great at it at all, my son is not a fan of it, but my 12yo daughter is trying to learn and I'm planning to let her help 'clean up' the ones I clipped a couple of weeks ago who need areas touched up/fixed.

At the shows, the kids are responsible for washing their own goats, but I'll usually help them, since we tend to take a lot of goats. They are responsible for doing water, and we all take turns checking hay/grain. We work together unloading and loading truck and goats. Then unloading truck when we get home.
I don't know how to quote just a small section.
No not always having a 4H group is all that great. Our leader had one meeting this year. It was to dock her sheep's tails and she said to just pretend they were goats. Since it was last minute no one could come, and she got mad and threw a hissy fit because her sheep needed their tails docked and she was going to have to do it herself. Technically my kids have 0% participation and shouldn't be allowed to show. Same as all the kids. We are moving clubs and keeping it quiet because she can turn and say we didn't go to her one and only meeting and not let the kids show.
I understand that it is voluntary being a leader, and I didn't complain the last 2 years over the same kind of crap but I offered to help and another gal offered to take it over and she won't drop it because this is her way of selling her kids.
So we are moving to another club where there is 10 kids altogether, the goat leader knows absolutely nothing about goats, she is only the leader so her son can show but she tries! She isn't the leader to sell anything and she is not the leader so that the club pays for all the equipment needed for her child to do jackpots. And she sure wouldn't tell kids that a child didn't deserve to be nominated to be president because the kid didn't bother showing up to the meeting.....come to find out it was because the little girls mom died! (That was the last straw for me) My kids may not learn anything new but it will be a better environment.
For leaders and trying to not have parents do everything, maybe stress the importance of them doing their own work. How they will feel knowing THEY earned what position they get. That after 4H and FFA is over, or even turning 18, that these are life skills that will take them far! I think parents should be involved to a point. It's equally as sad when the kids have no support or help at home. I'm 34 and I get help now and then from the kids (a lot from the kids) my husband, and even my parents when I need them, so no way would I sit back and say your on your own kiddos. But I agree the doing it all is so sad.
 

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Oh, yes, us oldies can tell old stories: This Way We Did It In Older Times. It worked well then, but now we have other possibilities, let us combine the best of all times! The biology as such has not changed.

And we oldies do rejoice when the children manage to learn and do good things!
 

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This is for Trollmor....yes the parents do the children's homework!! I had several students this year who always had a 100 on their homework but had no idea how to do the skills in math.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Being a leader isnt a walk in the park and its not for the faint of heart. Some families are just petty and dont care and think they are entitled. Leased to a girl for 3 years who would show up once shave half the goat than leave. Finally told her she couldnt lease anymore and they ruined our reputation
 

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We left our 4-h group because of those parents. They didn't have goats but horses only so it was all about that. When we tried to find an FFA group to join who did goats they wouldn't let homeschoolers in only public school kids. We were very disheartened about the whole set up. My daughter does every aspect of goat raising with me only checking up on medication doses so there's no accidents. She feeds, cleans the barn, waters, trims hooves and helped in the delivery of the kids, and does general repairs to fence and shelters.when it's a two person job of course I help but she is the director of what actions need to be taken.
Truthfully, I believe she's better off rather than those families setting a bad example, at least she can handle about any situation that arises.
 

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I bet your daughter is getting her 4H at home. Pity the organization does not do its part, as no doubt intended from the beginning.

Btw, when did 4H arrive to the USA?
 
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