As I sit down at the computer for a few quick minutes, I gather my thoughts and think back to when I was a 4-H exhibitor. The night before a 4-H show, I was trying to get all of my show gear ready. Bath any animals that needed to be bathed and groomed. I prepared my food for the next day, and sat my clothes on the edge of the bed. I would read over the show rules to make sure I was familiar with them. Looking back 4-H was a great experience for me. I learned so much from listening to the judges and asking questions once judging was over. I was always the first kid to volunteer to write for the judge.
Many years later, I have taken the initiative to take the steps needed to advance in my hobby of rabbits and cavies. I have become a dual rabbit and cavy registrar. I am waiting to schedule my rabbit judge’s exam, and next year I will take my cavy judges exam. Even as an adult 4-H has given back to me. I have been judging 4-H/FFA shows for about three years now. I really enjoy judging and sharing my experiences with the youth. I judge to the ARBA Standard of Perfection, and explain the important points to those who are new to showing rabbits and cavies.
I really enjoy spending one on one time with the youth during showmanship classes. This is where I can tell if the youth actually knows about his or her animal or if someone else does all the work. After showmanship I have the opportunity to listen to the kids ask me questions about their particular breeds. I am always excited when I have a youth exhibitor teach me something about their particular breed that I did not already know.