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Barber Exhibits Grand Champion Barrow
Mar 10, 2017
by Teresa Adkins, 4-H Program Assistant

Taylor Barber recently exhibited the Grand Champion Barrow at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show in Perry, Georgia, on February 22-25, 2017. Taylor, a 10th grade 4-H'er at Bainbridge High School, is the daughter of Jeff and Leslie Barber. By winning this honor, she has become a master 4-H'er, which is the highest honor a 4-H member can receive in one area.  This is Taylor's second Grand Champion Barrow at the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show, having won this honor in 2013 as well.

At left, Judge Brandon Ogle, Taylor Barber and Gerald Long

Brandon Ogle from Nokomis, Illinois evaluated the 2,106 swine for the market gilt and barrow shows entered by 4-H and FFA members from across Georgia.

Taylor is no stranger to the winner's circle as she also won the 4-H master swine showmanship award at the 2017 Georgia Junior National Market Hog Show, again receiving master 4-H status. The master showmanship competition is open to the top two placing 4-H'ers in showmanship grades 9th-12th. Taylor will be honored for both of these accomplishments at the 2017 Georgia 4-H Congress in July.

Taylor is very passionate about exhibiting swine and cattle across the Southeastern part of the United States. Showing livestock is not just an extra-curricular activity for Taylor; it is a lifestyle for her and her family.

Years ago, the rural culture included not just farmers but also average citizens who were either involved somehow in agriculture or who shared common values and a grateful recognition of this culture's respectable and reliable way of life. These days, though, many people who choose the rural lifestyle do so because they enjoy the open spaces, the adventures of the outdoors, and the same dependable beliefs of previous agricultural generations. For 4-H'ers and rural citizens, exhibiting livestock is not just a way of life but an expression of the joy and the passion they have for agriculture.

It is in admiration of the animal and of its contributions that young people put forth such energy. In fact, Taylor and other livestock show team members have been hard at work preparing for this culminating event since early fall.

Showing swine is a combination of self-discipline, determination, and effort. Students dedicate their time and finances to finishing with the best animal, but it is in fact the student who begins to exhibit first-place qualities in character and in personal growth. As a result of participation in showing livestock, these youth gain important traits including responsibility, caring, and fairness.

In addition, they practice numerous life skills including teamwork, self- motivation, self-esteem, critical thinking, decision making, goal setting, cooperation, and communication. Students learn to manage their time effectively and to budget both energy and finances. Their effort produces magnificent livestock, and that livestock in turn help produce outstanding citizens.

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