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Leave 4-H Kids Alone, PETA

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I just got home from the South Dakota State Fair last night, where yesterday’s big event was the 4-H heifer show. With 67 classes, it was a big event, and 4-H youth proudly wore their bright green t-shirts with the four-leaf clover emblazoned on the front, as they paraded their animals into the ring for the judge to evaluate.

This tradition of 4-H kids showcasing their projects is a great way for agriculture’s future leaders to learn first-hand the ins and outs of the livestock business, and it’s an outstanding activity to keep young people busy, engaged and out of trouble in the summer months.

And, as 4-H youth were busy putting the final touches on their projects, animal rights activists were busy bullying our nation’s finest young people. This year at the Colorado State Fair, there were posters hung up by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stating their definition of 4-H: “hellish for animals, hazardous to the environment, heart attack-inducing and hypocritical for teaching kids to care about only certain animals and to disregard others.”

PETA was rejected to post the same posters and show a documentary at the Texas State Fair. Meanwhile, in Kansas, PETA was accepted as a vendor at the upcoming state fair in Hutchinson, where they plan to display the posters and show a graphic video. However, they are required to shield the video from those passing by the booth. Interested parties would have to request to view the video.

According to the U.S. Ag Network, PETA is retaliating by filing a free speech lawsuit against the Kansas State Fair. They want to be able to make their material visible to everyone at the fair.

“PETA intentionally displays graphic material to get a rise out of people. The State Fair is a family event. PETA’s content will likely be graphic, inappropriate and not suitable for children. This group is not going to the fair to provide factual information. It’s promoting its own anti-meat, anti-dairy agenda with attempts to exploit the innocence of children. How ethical is that? Fair officials should be commended for their judgment to protect fair goers. The State Fair is an event that showcases agriculture. It is disturbing when animal rights groups invade our community, distort the truth, and misrepresent our industry,” says Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) Executive Director Brandy Carter.

In my opinion, this is just another tasteless scheme for PETA to make the headlines and destroy a family event where 4-H youth are at center stage.

Come on, PETA. We can have our disagreements. We can debate all you want. We can talk about the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. But, leave our kids alone.

Discuss this Blog Entry 45

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Must be a slow news day , heh Amanda? There is nothing new in this article.

"A Beef Producer"

Ed (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Any one or any group harassing kids needs to be locked up. OR ask them to come to my ranch. They will not be seen again. Get a life and wake up.....we need to STOP these NUT CASES. they have nothing to add to society to be allowed to be in public places. THEY ARE NUT CASES

Ed (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Anyone adding a comment on this site needs to be in the cattle business or a related field. These PETA NUT CASES are adding their stupid remarks and no one is stopping them. They are so wrong and so stupid.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 6, 2012

Ed I totally agree with you.. All PETA is, is a bunch of rich Cowards that have nothing better to do than to harass others.. They are COWARDS

Big Oak Farm --Georgia (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

What in the WORLD is this country coming to. PETA leave our children alone...pick on some one your own size.. you are nothing but a bully.STAY home and stay out of our State Fairs....Our two sons grew up in 4-H showing sheep and cattle all over the state. It was a REAL learning experience: it taught them responsibly, discipline, care, respect the list is endless it has no end. So PEDA mind you own business and stay out of ours.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Until my kids - all farm raised - were in high school ,they thought PETA meant - people eating tasty animals.

peta sucks (not verified)
on Sep 11, 2012

People Eating Tasty Animals: The Los Angeles Clippers of animal rights since 1980

on Sep 4, 2012

Leave children alone so the industry can continue desensitizing them? You are afraid of letting them know the truth of what actually happens to their carefully tended animals. Children should know the truth, and if PETA is the one to inform them, kudos for PETA.

Gin (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Mary, these children *do* know what happens to the carefully tended animals. Farm children don't have any romanticized notions about animal agriculture -- we were never raised to think of cattle as "pets." As a former farm child, I knew exactly what was going to happen (eventually) to my show animals. I took pride in knowing that they were getting excellent care at my hands, and that one day, a family would get to enjoy delicious beef from my animals.

Dawn (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Mary, I didn't realize that you followed all of these kids home to see what happens to the "carefully tended" animals after the fair. I would be willing to listen to any stories that you have about 4-H animal abuse, before, during, or after a fair that you have personally witnessed. Any infractions of the 4-H code should be immediately reported to the County Extension Office. This code involves care of animals before, during, and after the fair. Breeding animals are not sent to market, but kept at home and often shown for several years.

Mathena (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Did you not read what they were saying? They weren't out telling kids how they should care for there animals so they can feed the world. No they were out telling kids that they were abusive, cause of death of people that have heart problems. These kids aren't stupid they know what happens to them, and that all animals have to die. They for sure don't need PETA telling them how it's done.
And talk about desensitizing, look at the kids in big cities, they still think meat comes from the store, and not from a farm out in Illinois or Iowa.

Melinda (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Mary, I would venture to guess that the children showing at these fairs know as much, if not more, than you do about "what actually happens to their carefully tended animals". We love our animals but we also understand that God placed them on this earth with a purpose. If you don't believe me, ask a 4-Her what happens to his/her meat project animal after the fairs are done. I'm sure they'll explain it to you quite well.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

The children know all too well what actually happens to their carefully tended animals. That would be why you see so many tears when the animals are sold. PETA needs to worry about something other than the 4-H and FFA kids. Leave them alone.

Mary Louise (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Are you kidding me? Kudos to PETA!!! Talk to anyone of the kids in the barn and they can tell you exactly what is going to happen to their animals. They are proud of what they have prduced and they know that what is going into the food chain is well fed and taken care of. I also wouldn't call them desensitized when they are crying when they say good bye. We should commend these young people for having a good work ethic and sound animal husbandry practices!! 4-H youth are some of the best our nation has to offer.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Mary Louise--- your statement is contradictory...do you know what 'kudos' means? I agree with everything you said, except the 'Kudos' part.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

(I am posting this AFTER I posted about wondering what you meant 'kudos to PETA') Ok---I 'get' your statement now... Typing should have a sarcasm font. you were replying to another post...I understand now.

on Sep 4, 2012

Ok Mary, I'll get into the fray. YES my children did know what happened to their animals. The heifers went into their herd to produce more calves. The steers were sold and the ones we bought back went to the slaughter house and eventually our freezer. My kids saw the WHOLE process. They worked with the live animal, viewed its carcass hanging and then ate their portion of the good steaks. They even have been part of the slaughter process. What can PETA tell them otherwise?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Thank you for giving your kids the chance to grow up in the real world. I bet they are (or will be) productive, conscienous people that these PETA people need to meet and listen to. Mine will sure gave(and still do) them an earful of the real world.

on Sep 4, 2012

Our 4-H program in Kansas does take our 4-Hers through every aspect of animal husbandry. Our two children witnessed and assisted (if needed) in the births of calves on our family farm. They cared for the animals through the cold of winter and the heat of summer. Then, after the fair, they went to an area locker plant where they saw the beef hanging and evaluated it for quality. 4-Hers learn to care for their animals from pasture to plate. They live it every day.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Ok Mary I get that you feel strongly about how you think 4-h handles there animals...And I respect that but the fact you indorse bulling of children is just sick...Don't you watch the news lately have you seen the number of kids as well as adults dieing due to sick people nasty people bulling them such as yourself and your beloved peta bullying them...You and your partners in crime (peta) are just as bad as the run of the mill BULLY....And you think 4-h is bad well at least we aren't harming our children like you and peta are. Go ahead keep bulling them and when one them hang themselves or whatever due to your bulling there blood will be on your hands...And then lets see who the truely screwed up people are cause it sure as hell isn't people of the 4-h community....There are better ways of dealing with your beliefs then inflicting them on our children....Sick Sick Sick....You should be ashamed of yourselves Peta and Mary....Leave Our Children Alone...

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

Maybe I am just too "desensitized" to understand what exactly we are desensitizing our children to.... I do a lot of our meat processing "in house"... on the kitchen counter... and I tan my hides... on the back porch. I grew up eating meat, most of it was hunted or home raised. My family worked in the horse slaughter plant in Oregon (before PETA burned it to the ground). You can't tell me that PETA is trying to shelter our children by showing them these videos and images. It would seem that they are responsible for this desensitization as well... PETA is known for it's harassment, violent and bullying tactics. Apparently live and let live only applies to animals...

adam (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

If you need to find a way to worry about how animals are treated, you better start looking around the world. There are people that get treated much worse, maybe look at how their animals are treated

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

As a past 4-H and FFA member I can verify that all of the kids participating in livestock shows know what happens to the animals and some do get upset but in my experience that feeling is normally pushed aside after they get their check from selling that animal. No matter how much emotion you try to push into this on going debate it still doesn't hide the actual facts about animal agriculture, and the biggest fact of them all is that this is still a business. We as producers are not spending our time and money to raise some cute little animals for other peoples enjoyment. We are trying to make a living for ourselves and our families just like a business man in LA is. However the big difference is that we are feeding the world while we do it.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

Perhaps your time and energy would be better served in speaking for the rights of the unborn instead of the animals over whom God gave us dominion over for our use. I have seen Peta people release domestic dogs from their crates at dog shows, some of whom were never recovered. Do you really believe releasing precious pets who have been cared for all their lives and can no longer fend for themselves is ethical treatment? If so, you need to think again as these loving creatures starve, are hit by cars, are terrified and suffering because they no longer have familiar loving people to care for them.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

The children of agriculture are very aware of what happens to their animals, because they live with them and know that they are a food source. As such, they want the best care for them as a consumer and a premium product. PETA is not a legitimate source of information , and only wants to pursue their own ideals. What do you think pays for all of the PETA junk , how many people do you think they actually feed? None

Brandi (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

I'm heading to our Kansas State Fair this weekend and will definitely be giving the PETA booth a look-over. Maybe even ask a few questions. Politely and anonymously, of course.

Carey Counsil (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Don't Mess With Texas! -- Amen to the posts here, as a 5th generation Independent American Farmer and 4-H and FFA member, I hand down my legacy to my children, taught as my father taught me, and his taught him ... there is no 'fluff' in Agricultural Education in our household. Our children have experienced life and death as a regular part of the lifecycle. I would never push my beliefs on PETA or anyone else, but if PETA wants to push their beliefs on me -- be prepared for an ole fashion Texas Ass Whoopin' --- YES PETA representatives, my name is on this as well as my email -- My Family WILL BE AT THE STATE FAIR OF TEXAS -- Showing Beef Cattle ! - look forward to meeting you!

on Sep 5, 2012

Amen to Carey, when they get done at the State Fair of Texas, send them to the Oklahoma State Fair, we will be there showing our beef cattle! There is no better life than bringing our children up in a 4-H/FFA program. I am a 3rd generation beef raiser, former 4-H and FFA member and now proud to be an Ag Booster and we strive to raise our children the same. Our kids started out learning to feed and care for bottle calves at an early age, participating in the Bucket Calf Programs when they are 5 - 8, then moving on at 9 to show cattle in 4-H and FFA. They know that heifers can be kept back to go into the breeding program and that the bull calves will be worked and later sent to market or fed out for the family to dine on. They understand the concept of love and loss and have a healthy respect for life as well as understand the food chain and the need for it.
Mary, to add to your post, maybe you should get out in the barn more often and experience the real life of where the food in the stores comes from and the hard work and hours that many families endure to be able to supply the demand whether it is beef, pork, chicken, or fruits and vegetables. Last I knew muscles were built and sustained by protein and what better places to acquire that than from a nice juicy steak, pork chop, or a chicken breast. On a last note, if all these PETA members would put out as much effort lending a hand to Meat Producers and Produce Farmers how far would we be into helping those folks that do not have enough to eat, especially right here in our own backyards....just saying. To end my rant as my bumper stickers say "The West was not won on Salad". P.S.S. Stay away from my children, or you could possibly be dealing with an irate Beef Fed momma!

James (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

PETA in fact doesn't want anyone to own animals and let the al run free, which would be a nightmare, I have seen their documentary and have heard some of their crazy ideals. I have been a 4-H leader for 25 years and yes I have seen tears, but they all understand what they are raisng, also no one is forcing them to care for and show a animal even though is one of the best things that teach responabillty and life lessons at a early age.4-H and FFA are two of the best youth programs worldwide, I seen so many success stories that people have and can contribute some of it to their younger days in these programs. PETA needs to leave us alone and go attack Hoolyweird.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

It just show what Peta really knows to say that a great organization that shows love, respect for the animals and many members include them into the family can go around and say it is bad. Also where does Peta think the fertilizer to grow their salads come from.

Karen (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

peta should maybe be concerned with all the violence by children in the the cities. How many farm kid gangs has anyone ever heard of. There isn't any because kids who are in 4H and FFA have strong values and responsibilites to take care of their projects. These kids have no misguided information on where their food comes from because they are producing it. Ignorant people fear what they don't know, and this group has proved that they wish to remain ignorant, so they do not deserve my attention.

4-H MOM (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

I totally agree with you! 4-H and FFA Kids are the ones that come back to their communities and have a very strong work and community ethic, where are the gang members in trouble! IF we are going to continue to Feed AMERICA then someone has to step up to the plate and I guarantee it will be the next generation of 4-Her's and FFA'ers. PETA is so ignorant in what they are doing!

Blahbadida (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

Mary, lemme give you the view of a 16 yr old Montana pig farmer.
Life and Death is apart of the life cycle regardless what humans do. You're going to die and im going to die, animals are gonna die, everything dies. It happens and farm kids are told that from the beginning. WE know where our animals are going after we give them up. WE know whats gonna happen to them. WE accept it though and move on. PETA has no right to come on to the fairs and try to show graphic stuff to kids (Not necessarily my age but kids like 11 or under). They know whats gonna happen but they dont need to see it.
Hearing whats gonna happen and seeing whats gonna happen are 2 totally different experiences.

Patrick Hein (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

Freedom of speech, yes you do have that. However, you do not have the right to be on private property without permission. You also need to abide by any rules that the property owner has set for you. It is the right of any property owner or organization/business to reject persons from being on the property at any time. PETA has no claim unless they signed a contract giving them express consent to push their agenda. Freedom of speech, yes. Right to harass, no. Stick em in a corner and put walls around them. It appears to me that is what they are trying to accomplish anyways. PETA is a terrorist organization. Any organization that uses scare tactics, harassment, horror movies, and gang mentality to push their agenda is a terrorist group. If you can not educate people with love and compassion, your agenda is invalid.

Midwest Farm Girl (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

This is appalling! As an FFA Alumni, it is at the fairs that I have my most fondest childhood memories. I'd have to agree being a part of 4-H/FFA has taught me so much not only in agriculture, but in life as well. I also have to add that our show animals live a much better life than some people. I mean who wouldn't want to be pampered all day and then relax under a fan in an air conditioned room? Thanks for sharing!

proud grandmother of FFA girl (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

The members of PETA must have too much time on their hands. Maybe that time would be better used by helping feed, dress and get medical attention to the children in all areas of America. Our FFA and 4-H kids are also trained to do good works for their communities...Just a thought !!

Linda (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

UN-FRIGGEN BELIEVABLE- I guess we ignored them so well at the Calgary Stampede that they figure their only option is to pick on kids. Shame on PETA!!!! In Calgary these idiots show up regularly and as far as I know get absolutely no where. I have never been a part of 4-H or FFA however being born and raised in Calgary I have followed these kids for years and I for one am very proud to have been associated with them and their projects. I have worked for years with "troubled" children and know for a fact that most of them would benefit greatly from being in projects such as the 4-H. Groups such as 4-H would keep our kids from shoplifting, holding up passengers at the train and bus station, graffiti, beating each other senseless, and whatever other mischief our city brats get into. Horray for groups like the 4-H and PETA - you know what you guys can do with your ideas - stuff them where the sun don't shine. 4-H - KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 6, 2012

This PETA group is just another political type ploy that is gathering unfounded information and distributing it to cause an uproar in the people who work so hard to feed them. Maybe just maybe there is a way to end this, by have a mandatory question of one's belief regarding this issue available upon each person's shopping cart and the shopper must answer the question prior to being rung up. If they are sworn PETA people their groceries ( meat, fish, produce to) should be eliminated from their shopping carts and returned to the shelves. These people need to REALLY understand what farm people are about!

Spurwing Plover (not verified)
on Sep 10, 2012

I heard that PETAS lawsuit aginst the KANSAS STATE FAIR was toss out by a judge. Tell PETA to GO POUND SAND

Leah Eischen (not verified)
on Sep 13, 2012

I am a 4-H leader in Minnesota. I read an article in the local paper that referenced the Leave 4-H Kids Alone, PETA article. I am absolutely appalled that PETA or anyone else thinks it's acceptable behavior to attack kids (free speech or not) and the 4-H program. In MN, all livestock exhibitors must go through Livestock Quality Assurance and Ethics training every 3 years and as a trainer myself, I can tell you these kids are already more mature and respectful than any member of PETA - good thing 4-H and farm life teaches them that! GO 4-H!!!!!!

Holly (not verified)
on May 5, 2013

I don't think that's PETA's intent. But the fact is, especially in industrial agriculture, animals are treated very inhumanely and if you are going to eat meat, you need to know the truth. The images will be upsetting. Good! It will inspire these kids (who will one day be adults) to raise their livestock animals in a kind way and make sure they don't suffer. You don't have to become a vegetarian to believe that traditional slaughterhouse policies are wrong and unnecessarily cruel. More people should make themselves look at footage of what goes on, especially if you're going to eat meat without thinking about it.

on May 6, 2013

So Holly Heifer you wait 8 months to post a comment so no one will notice you I see. If you knew anything about "industrial agriculture" you would know the ones causing trouble are hired hands from the city, or sometimes PETA members themselves not kids living on a farm raising healthy animals. Get a life, and go play with your ponies.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 2, 2013

Holy have you even been out on a ranch because Ive been on tons and when I look around I see big pastures full of nice green grass happpy cows and in no instense have I ever seen signs of abuse or neglect we care for and nurture these animals I mean why spend the amount of money you put into a cow just to neglect it and not get. your money back

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2013

How dare they say 4-h is cruel! I love 4-h and its animals why because most ranchers that are in 4-h give the cattle, sheep, pigs, and chickens better care than those in a factory farm. Ive NEVER been too a state fair or a county fair and seen abuse or neglect done to any of the animals rabbits included. I am active in 4-h heck im going to rejoin a club in September because its what I love to do. There is NO organization that is going to change my ideas on animal showing the animals are better cared for than those in factory farms and cage like conditions. Take it from a 4-h person that owns a 4-h bred rabbit, I know what im talking about.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 3, 2013

I know that animals will continue to suffer at the hands of man. However, I am thankful that there are organizations like PETA. Without them, we would continue to grow complacent on the true state of animal abuse. We need these organizations to remind us that things aren't all wonderful in this world and that every little bit of concern/activism can make a difference. Children need to understand too. Compassionate children make for compassionate adults. I eat meat, know where it comes from, and the dark side that comes along with it. However, I never understood how a child could/would want to raise a beautiful animal that would later be auctioned and butchered. It is completely morbid and the reason I stay away from the fair/show animals.

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