by Kyle Caires
June is an important month for Maui 4-H. For decades, keiki and their families gather for the annual Maui 4-H Youth Livestock Show and Auction. Once part of the Upcountry Fair, the event merged with Maui County Farm Bureau’s ‘Maui AgFest’ but continues to take place in June so Maui winners can travel to O‘ahu to showcase their animals in the statewide show and competition.
Although Covid shut down all other major events in the county, our 4-H livestock show had to go on. Managing and raising livestock is a must-have opportunity for our keiki. They gain life skills, learn to accept responsibility, value hard work, think critically, make decisions, and communicate well. We felt we had to support our future leaders by allowing them to complete their projects and validate their hard work and determination!
Maui 4-H Livestock offers two types of projects: Market and Breeding. Market projects in beef cattle, sheep, and swine entails the 4-H member raising, feeding and finishing an animal to proper market weight for harvest. Breeding projects allow the 4-H member to raise cattle and goats as breeding stock, which they can either market to local ranchers interested in genetic improvement or retain ownership of the animal to start their own herds.
At the final show, an expert judge evaluates the livestock for their potential as either breeding or market animals, provides a critique for each animal in the class, and compares the ‘form’ of the animal with the ‘purpose’ it is intended to serve. The judge for 2021 was Mitch Magenheimer from Canby, Oregon, who brings two decades of agribusiness and livestock judging expertise. He worked really well with our kids during the show, and afterward, gave them a talk relating their current 4-H experiences to life after high school, discussing opportunities in both college, industry, and life.
This year’s show was limited to 4-H members, their families, and livestock industry leaders. The event was a small gathering outdoors,. A big Mahalo to Ken Miranda and the Rice Family of Kaonoulu Ranch for allowing the Maui 4-H Livestock Program use of the Oskie Rice Arena. We also extend thanks to the Maui Cattlemen’s Association for their continued support of the 4-H program and help with sponsoring our official judge.
Maui 4-H looks forward to bringing back the auction portion when the event returns to the War Memorial Special Events Arena as part of Maui AgFest 2022.
Photo caption: I want to celebrate the high school graduation of two of our most dedicated 4-H youth leaders: Alexis Camara and Kaylee Silva. These ‘seasoned veterans’ of the Livestock Program have represented Maui County in state and national 4-H skill development contests and were always there to mentor the younger 4-H. These young women are exceptionally driven, hard-working individuals, and great role models for our youth. Alexis and Kaylee are strong academically and very organized, maintaining a healthy balance between work, extramural activities and community service. I wish you both congratulations as you pursue your college programs!