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The 4H/FFA Bandera Co. Dexter Project

This project began in 2009-2010 resulting from the recognition that many youths in Bandera County had an interest in 4H/FFA livestock, but lacked the acreage, the financial capability, and training support to prepare and show cattle. The unique nature of this Dexter small cattle breed coupled with the guidance of several Bandera UMC church members provided ways to overcome the space, financial, and teaching deficiencies. Additional blessings, prayers, and financial support propelled the project into fruition. Beginning in 2009 with 5 youth, 2016 included 28 youth in our program. In addition, several youth have developed their own herds.

Dexter Project Objectives

1. Instill awareness and importance of an agrarian impact on all our lives.
2. Teach large animal stewardship.
3. Add depth of meaning to “Responsibility and Citizenship.”
4. Teach animal showmanship skills through healthy competition.
5. Refine cooperative and teamwork skills.
6. Have a fun and memorable experience in a Christian environment.
7. Earn recognition and compensation for effort.

Key Elements of Our Project

The Primary Youth Recipient’s Responsibilities

1. Be enrolled in a Bandera County agricultural program such as 4H/FFA;
2. Be enrolled in and actively attending 3rd through 12th grade;
3. Be academically eligible to participate in extracurricular activities throughout the project period;
4. Be willing and able to properly care for his/her Dexter heifer or steer;
5. Have the facilities or access to facilities that assist with the proper care and training of his/her Dexter heifer or steer.
6. Animals are awarded to the youth for a period of two years at no cost for the animal. The youth must provide a minimum amount of individual equipment. All feed and care of the animals are funded by members of Bandera United Methodist Church and local sponsors.
7. Area youth must commit to exhibiting his/her animal at the Bandera County Junior Livestock Show each January. Each youth must provide proper care, feeding and training of his/her awarded animal in a controlled training program held at the Hill Country Veterinary Clinic grounds. These housing and training facilities are provided by Dr. Conrad Nightingale. DVM, owner of the Hill Country Veterinary Hospital.
8. Membership to Bandera United Methodist Church is not required.
9. Previous program-experienced youth and parents add to the strength of this program.

Exhibitor Rules

During Barn Time, Exhibitor Must Follow Rules of

1. Conduct
2. Dress Code
3. Mutual Respect
4. Personal Items
5. Respect of Property
6. Humane Animal Treatment
7. Breaks and Break Area
8. Visiting Parents and Family
9. Demonstrate The 4-H Pledge:
     a. My Head to clear thinking,
     b. My Heart to greater loyalty,
     c. My Hands to larger service,
     d. My Health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

Parent/Guardian Involvement

1. Support and encouragement of your Youth and others;
2. Be present a minimum of 3 monthly Parents’ Days;
3. Must be present and involved on day before & Show Day.

Reward System

Objectives (Exhibitor is in Charge of His/Her Success)

1. Measuring Success
2. “Everybody Wins” Opportunity
3. Teamwork Development
4. “Coopetition” = Cooperation during Competition
5. Community and Common Ground

Points System

a. Attendance
b. Community Service
c. Training Expectations
d. Academic Performance
e. Pass a written exam relating to Dexter Cattle

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