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Sunday, May 1, 2016

What would life be without 4-H?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Kentucky judge awards Allison Massey and Jessica Ozburn with an award. The plaque is a piece of wood that came through the great flood in Nashville and was stenciled to be used as the award.
(Submitted photo)
(Editor's Note: Allison Massey represented Bedford County as 4-H's Dairy Chairman. Each member of 4-H was also required to write an article about their experience with 4-H. Below is Massey's article).

Well for starters there would be less friends, more free time and more money to spend on other things. But there is 4-H in my life and always has been. I have been drug around to cow shows and 4-H events ever since I was born! This past summer was no exception.

Only now I also have FFA added into the mix. So if I am not at a 4-H event I am at a FFA event or I am home taking care of my animals. Sometimes a little golf is thrown in for fun.

This summer started with a week of leadership camp for FFA. A week as a teen leader at 4-H camp was next. June Dairy Month activities tied up the rest of June. Then there is July -- more FFA activities and a week at Honor Club Team Building.

Being on the youth board for the Bedford County Fair comprised one week in July, but oh such fun. Showing cows and dairy judging practice took much of the time left in July.

August was practicing golf and taking care of show calves. This year the State Fair offered a new class called "Champion of Champions." To get to show in this event you must be invited. To be invited you have to win a championship at a local fair or win grand champion at the state fair junior show.

The money was big, $500 for breed championship and $1,500 for supreme championship. We arrived and showed in the junior open show. My heifers did really well, Junior champion, Reserve Junior champion and Honorable Mention. But that was not good enough. For the money, my cow had to win.

She is 10 years old, had 9 babies that includes one set of twin heifers. She looked great -- just fresh and the udder was so full and beautiful. In judging terms that would be it was higher and wider, with lots of veins on it with a very strong median suspensory ligament.

Well, she won her class of age cows, that was the first step. Step two was winning the grand championship to qualify for the "Champion of Champions" class. The judge studied the six class winners and then named my age cow the champion. Next step was to go in and compete against the winners that had been invited to the show. A new judge examined the eight cows in the ring. As he went to the microphone I hoped that he would name me and my cow Hennie.

He did name us and we won the $500. I had never won that much money in one class before.

So on to the final class of the day ... The winners of each of the five dairy breeds would compete for the top honors. As they introduced the Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, and Jersey, Bedford County 4-H members had won each of the divisions.

The judge walked up to us and talked with us and then the moment was here ... He named Hennie as "Champion of Champions." What a day to remember!

4-H keeps my life busy, happy, moving, developing and growing. Thanks to all who make me who I am and for giving me these remarkable opportunities.

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