Last night, Ben Brickhouse, SECO Energy’s VP of Engineering, purchased a steer on behalf of the not-for-profit electric cooperative at the Citrus County Association’s Youth Fair at the Citrus County Fairground.
Each year, hundreds of FFA and 4-H students are issued a comprehensive record book that involves logging the process and growth development of their animal. The record books are judged on a complete financial summary, the animal’s health record, writing prompts, letters to bidders/buyers, as well as neatness, accuracy and evidence of their work with the animal. Citrus County Ag Educational Chairman Kandi McPherson stated in a recent publication, “The Citrus County Fair believes in the value of youth exhibitor participation in all educational opportunities offered through their animal project.” By the end of the process, the students should have an understanding of the animal industry, marketing and communication skills.
Brickhouse stated, “I enjoy attending the youth fair because I know the preparation and sense of accomplishment builds character, develops integrity and forms work ethic which prepares students for our future workforce.” As a buyer representing SECO, Brickhouse purchased a steer from Anna Grace Budd, who showed a steer for Ease’s Rough Rider 4-H Club. The steer weighed in at 1,175 pounds.
Anna, an Inverness Middle School sixth grader, stated that raising her steer was more work than she ever imagined. She also said that going into the show ring for the first time made her more nervous than anything she’s ever done, but the experience was one of the most exciting she’s ever had. Anna’s father reported that this was her first year showing a steer.
CEO Jim Duncan stated, “SECO continues to be a proud supporter of the youth 4-H and FFA educational programs in the counties we serve. Remaining attentive to one of our seven cooperative principles – Concern for Community – we will continue to seek opportunities to support educational projects that prepare students to join the workforce. In addition to this year’s livestock program support, in May SECO will award twelve $3,000 scholarships to high school seniors enrolling in a Florida institute of higher learning. Academic achievement, financial need and other factors are considered by the judges, but participation in 4-H or FFA gives students added points. Although the deadline to apply for 2018 was March 30, I encourage students to visit our website and look for next year’s opportunity to apply.”