County fair season is upon us, and in case you missed it, last week I blogged about a 10-year study that showed the benefits of 4-H in developing young people who go on to be active civically, who volunteer in their communities and who lead happy, healthy lives.
Read it here: 4-H kids four times more likely to give back to their communities
As 4-H youth prepare for the county and state fair, presenting their livestock before a judge is ultimately the culmination of a year’s worth of work. It takes time, dedication, consistency, patience and continually learning to prepare an animal for the show.
I applaud the 4-H parents who invest their time and money into supporting their children and this activity. The county fair should be a time for celebration, where families and friends spend time together enjoying the fruits of their labor and making memories.
However, at an Iowa fair in Johnson County, the fun was brought to an abrupt halt when animal rights activists crashed the county fair.
In a recent report from KCRG News, “Johnson County Fair officials said animal rights activists have been disrupting the fair which they said stems from the ‘Family Rodeo’ event.
“Long-time fairgoer Sara Krieger said it’s disturbing what the group has been doing.
“‘They have been going around and cutting halters and cutting the hairs off the tail of cattle as well as letting the animals out,’ Krieger said.
“This has caused her to make extra efforts, needing to take her 12 show animals home every single day of the fair for the safety of the animals.
“‘We’ve always felt secure here,’ Krieger said. She is confused as to why anyone would want to put the animals, or other people, at risk. Fair officials said they are anticipating protestors.
“‘If you let them loose, they’re going to run through the fair, they’re going to get caught up in something,’ Krieger said. ‘Run people over; these people love their animals and they are well cared for. I put more time and money into my horses than I do myself. If you want to support an organization that combats animal cruelty, you should join 4-H.’”
It is sad and scary to think about animal rights activists targeting 4-H youth and putting their livestock in danger with their shenanigans. These individuals, whether acting on behalf of an organization and working independently, should be held accountable for their actions.
Of course, we shouldn’t be surprise by this type of activity. Animal rights activists have long used shock value and outlandish behavior to gain media headlines and attention. These folks have little regard for the animals they vow to save.
Consider this a friendly warning to be safe and watchful as your family attends the county or state fair this year. Perhaps 4-H clubs should consider hiring a night watchman to work as security during the evening hours at the fair.
It’s a shame it has to come to this, but when it comes to these activists, it seems like common sense, decency and respect of other people’s property are not values they have.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.