Head, heart, hands, and health

As an exercise in post-travel-decompression we visited our local 4H fair the other day. We were particularly keen to watch a long-time acquaintance preside over the poultry show. The judging of production, large fancy, and bantam classes was wrapping up as we arrived and we were able to watch the meat bird competition in its entirety. Jacob is a graduate of a strong (college) poultry science program and he did an excellent job in his capacity as judge. He participated in 4H when he was young and knew the importance of making the competition a learning experience for its participants, their parents, and for the audience as well. As Jacob carefully and critically reviewed each of a few dozen birds he talked about body conformation, body condition, and about the qualities looked for by those who would ultimately be processing the birds for the commercial market. He was careful to indicate both positive and negative attributes of each entry. After much careful deliberation Grand and Reserve Champion birds were chosen to the delight of the young ladies who had raised them. It’s been more than  five years since either of our daughters has participated in 4H. Now, making our yearly pilgrimage to the fair grounds brings back a flood of memories of more than a decade of family participation in this character-building program. By the way, the terms which comprise the title of this post are the four hs of 4H.

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