What Raising an Animal Through 4-H is Truly Like, and How You Can Get Involved

“We make a living by what we get. But we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill

The San Diego County Fair has so much to offer, (Here are our top 9 favorite things to do while you’re there!) but for kids in a 4-H program, the fair has another, deeper level of meaning. I talked to Grace Parker today about her journey raising “Cowboy”, a 1300 lb. steer, for over 9 months in preparation for this exciting week! (More details about her future projects here!) Cowboy will go in front of a judge tomorrow morning who will decide if he’s got what it takes to make it to market. If the judge decides he is a yes, he wins a blue ribbon and local delis and grocery stores will bid on him per pound. If he does not win a blue ribbon, Grace will start looking for a private buyer to offset the costs she has incurred raising him. Watch the video interview above to hear her story of what raising a steer means to her, and how you can help her raise another steer for next year’s fair season!

San Diego County Fair 4-H

Some of the things I learned today that surprised me most about Grace and Cowboy:

-Grace has raised TONS of different animals, and has shown many at the fair! (Starting with her dog Wyoming!)

-Cowboy eats 40 pounds of food every single day! (And hay and treats on top of that!)

-Cowboy’s favorite treats are carrots and zucchini! (Make sure to follow us on Instagram by clicking here to watch a behind-the-scenes video of me feeding him!)

-Shorter, wider steer are best for fairs and auctions, but no matter how much Cowboy eats, the specific breed of steer that he is provides unique challenges to the “bulking up” process. (Find out more about her goals for next year here.)

-Grace would ultimately love to raise a dairy heifer, but with college coming soon, she thinks she will stick to another beef project like Cowboy. (Want to get involved with 4-H? Check out this link to San Diego’s local 4-H groups!

San Diego County Fair 4-H

If you would like to donate to Grace and Cowboy’s fund, please check it out here! Every little bit helps, and goes back to your local community through Grace’s efforts with these animals. Thanks so much to those who have already contributed! Let’s get Grace another steer!