Showing character Part 4: Respect

The fourth Showing Character core value to be shared among livestock projects is respect. Not only is respect in showing animals important, but also when showing with other youth. Learn some respectful tips when showing livestock projects.

Respect is one of the words referred most often to when discussing character education. How we want to be treated by others and how we can show respect to others is important in our every-day work and play. What we say and how we show respect is an important character trait youth need to develop in early years. In the livestock area, respect is not only shown to other people, but also to the livestock projects.

When teaching youth how to prepare for showing their livestock projects, they not only learn how to manage, care for, keep records and show their animals, but learn core values that will help them grow and develop personally.

Respect is the fourth core value in a series by Michigan State University Extension on showing character, which identifies six core values that relate to the 4-H livestock project. This series is from the Josephson Institute of Ethics as part of the CHARACTER COUNTS! curriculum. Youth showing 4-H livestock projects are given the opportunity to develop and learn how to build character.

Respectful behaviors can be demonstrated by livestock exhibitors by what they do and say. Treating others how we would like them to treat us and using the “Golden Rule” demonstrates showing respect to others. Basically, respect is common courtesy given to others.

Another way youth can show respect is treating their animals properly. By ensuring the animals’ needs are taken care of, such as feeding, daily monitoring and proper management techniques, youth are demonstrating respectful treatment of animals. Caring for your animals in a proper way is being respectful towards them.

When volunteers and older teens give advice on the care of the animal, you show respect by listening and considering or following the advice given. In the showing character curriculum, there are activities that can be done that will give youth the chance to understand what it is to show respect towards each other and their livestock projects.

For more information on 4-H and other character education programs, please contact your local MSU Extension office or visit the 4-H website.

Read the rest of the articles in this series:

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