4-H runs in the family
The Jamestown Sun Despite her small stature, 9-year-old McKenzy Dockter trains, shows and walks with animals more than 10 times her size. McKenzy isn't scared, her mom, Jodi, said; at least not as scared as her mother is. And if she is scared, Mc...
The Jamestown Sun
Despite her small stature, 9-year-old McKenzy Dockter trains, shows and walks with animals more than 10 times her size.
McKenzy isn't scared, her mom, Jodi, said; at least not as scared as her mother is.
And if she is scared, McKenzy does a good job faking it. When her steer is out of line, she tugs it back into place and when she has to walk with it, she keeps her hand high -- just like her brother taught her.
4-H members showed their cattle, sheep, goats, llamas and pigs at the 4-H Livestock show at the Stutsman County Fair Friday.
McKenzy is the youngest of the four Dockter children. Her brothers, Dylan, 17, Dacotah, 15 and Davin, 13, showed animals in the livestock show too.
Fairs like Stutsman County's are family affairs, Jodi said. Not only do she and her husband, Darin, come, but the children's grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles come too.
Together, Dylan, Dacotah, Davin and McKenzy showed four steers, three pigs and eight sheep, Jodi said.
McKenzy said her favorite to show is her steer, Chubby, a Red Angus, because showing steers is the easiest, she said.
Showing animals isn't too hard or scary, Davin said.
"When you're on a farm, you're used to the animals," he said.
The Dockters live on a cow-calf operation with more than 200 cows, Jodi said.
Children in 4-H learn important lessons like nutrition, feeding, clipping and getting an animal ready for a show. But 4-H members learn more than just working with animals. They learn responsibility too.
"The older ones always help the younger ones," Darin said.
Working with the animals is can be a time-consuming commitment, she said. She said she and her family spend about an hour a day with the animals they are going to show, but that depends on how many animals they have to work with.
The Dockters are good children with a strong background in agriculture, said Missy Hansen, the Medina FFA adviser and Agriculture teacher. Hansen has worked with Dylan, Dacotah and Davin. The children have strong work ethics that translates into the classroom, she said. The lessons learned in 4-H are important for children of this area.
"Agriculture is really the background to our state," she said.
People have good and bad reasons for joining 4-H, Jodi said. People who are just in it for the money probably aren't getting the most out of the experience, she said, but children who are involved because they learn something and are having fun -- those are the ones gaining the most.