There's one thing you have to admit.
Emmet County 4-Hers have a lot of class.
That was apparent in the judging Friday when the judges cast a critical eye on the entries in the various livestock divisions.
"I'm here to find something wrong," said one of the judges. And he did. And even if it seemed a little picky, the 4-Hers stood there and took it on the jaw.
And they learned.
Next year, they thought. I'll be better next year. And they will be.
4-Hers showed their character in a lot of ways. Sure, they chatted with their friends and had fun. But when it came time to show their animals and to care for them, they were all business.
That says an awful lot about how these kids have been raised. And it also says a lot about how 4-H builds character. Not just today and not just for tomorrow, but for the rest of their lives.
No doubt, these same 4-Hers will raise kids of their own, show them the value of hard work, the pride in getting that ribbon. And if they don't get grand champion, or reserve, well at least they got to compete and find a sense of accomplishment in seeing the raising of an animal or creating a project all the way through. They've learned record keeping, and how to improve on what they've already done even though it seems pretty good now.
These aren't lessons that apply to just the show barn or the exhibit building, either. They're lessons that will apply throughout their lives.
And there's no price you can put on that.