OpEd: Celebrating Our Youth


Contributor Jennifer Garreau discusses whether or not 4-H desensitizes our kids from killing.

The following editorial was published in the Adams County Record on September 19 and is being reprinted with the permission of the author:  

I recently read an editorial article on the CNN website entitled, “Does 4-H desensitize kids from killing?” It was clear that many of the comments were made by urban dwellers, who obviously don’t know where their food comes from.

by Jennifer Garreau

Our area 4-H youth participated in the Lemmon Junior Livestock Show and Sale this last weekend.

Supporting our youth in events such as this one is not only important for community development and growth but also for our health.

Many people question the food supply system in our country with food shipped from other states or even other countries.

With every trip to the grocery, we are concerned about the nutritional benefit of the food we are purchasing often produced by massive corporate farms that often have food-borne illness problems.

We all want our food to be as delicious and nutritious as possible. Which often mean buying locally produced foods. The garden fresh tomato always tastes better than the store bought one.

When you buy a 4-H animal you are purchasing some of the highest quality meat in the nation. There is a noticeable taste difference in homegrown meat that has been fed quality feeds. Taking mass transportation to slaughter that often stresses animals and reduces meat quality out of the equation also makes for a better product.

You are not only supporting 4-H youth who are learning valuable life skills through the direct experience of their projects, you are also supporting local agriculture, which is the driving economic force of our community.

Our ability to be self-sufficient and produce food locally should be a national concern because food safety, security and maintain an abundant food supply is a national issue.

With only two percent of the population producing food for the rest and as poverty and food stamp levels increase, it is increasingly important that our youth learn the skills of growing food at home and how to be self sufficient. These are skills that are necessary for community and family survival.

My own experience in 4-H and FFA taught me how to start and run a business, as participants must keep financial records for their projects. It gave me the confidence to speak in public and encouraged me to be an active member of my community. It also taught me the value of hard work and that success can only through devotion. Without these programs and the adults who endlessly gave to them I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today.
4-H did not desensitize me, it instead fostered a deeper understanding and appreciation for all the time, effort and energy that goes into producing our food.

With 4-H clubs about to begin a new year, I would highly encourage all parents to enroll their children in the program.

Were you a part of 4-H or FFA programs? If so how did they impact you? What were the most meaningful and valuable experiences you learned through the program?


Source: Adams County Record
Posted by Haylie Shipp



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