Jenna Gamble and Xavier Mihai practice their turkey showmanship skills at Livestock Activity Day at the Sonoita Fairgrounds.

There is nothing better to a livestock kid than the smell of the barn at 6a.m. That is how we all started out on July 9, preparing for our 2nd annual Mustang 4-H Livestock Activity Day at the Sonoita Fairgrounds. 

4-H and FFA members were busily preparing their animals for a day of learning. Eleven coaches from all over Arizona taught showmanship, nutrition, anatomy, and proper care of our livestock projects. This year, 64 kids attended, showing pigs, steer, goats, lambs, and small stock animals. You could see the pride all the 4-H and FFA members had in their animals as they showed them off at the end of the day in the Showmanship Showdown. 

Many first year 4-H members were all ears preparing for the Santa Cruz County Fair in September. When asked why they were excited to attend Livestock Activity Day, there was one common theme. “Better showmanship and how to take care of my turkey,” said Xavier Mihai, first year 4-H member. 

Emily Leavitt, who is a veteran 4-H member, has shown in Pima County since she was nine. This will be Emily’s last year in 4-H and her first year showing as a Mustang 4-H member raising a market goat. She was asked what life lesson she learned at Livestock Activity Day. “You can always continue to learn more in anything you do in life, no matter what it is,” said Emily. 

Participants had the opportunity to be coached by one of the best in the business, Mike Zamudio of SSVSP Showpigs of San Simon, AZ. The Zamudio family is well known in Arizona and the livestock showing community. Zamudio shared a quote with the participants that is invaluable to anyone who steps into the show ring.

“The success of your animal project depends on you and the time you invest,” said Zamudio. “Success is not measured by banners, buckles, or ribbons. It is determined by hard work, dedication, and the desire to be great.”

The Mustang 4-H club thanks all the sponsors, volunteers, the Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo Association Board, and Dr. Dusti Prentice for making this day possible and fun for all. Participants are looking forward to next year to expand their knowledge and skill set.