Showing character Part 6: Trustworthiness

Being trustworthy involves honesty, promise-keeping, loyalty and integrity. This is the final article in the Showing Character curriculum, teaching youth core values in 4-H livestock projects.

Trustworthiness is the sixth value in a series from the Showing Character curriculum that helps youth understand raising animals is more than just feeding and showing their animals. In this curriculum, six core values are identified: citizenshipcaringresponsibility, respect and fairness.

Trustworthiness comes in four areas:

  1. Honesty. Livestock exhibitors show honesty by keeping up to date records of birth, purchase, selling and showing. Also being honest when claiming ownership, correct weight, feeds given, accepting responsibility in fitting animals and talking honestly among other showmen.
  2. Promise-keeping. Youth are reliable and promise to pay feed bills and other commitments on time. Youth follow through with their obligations.
  3. Loyalty. Livestock exhibitors should remain loyal towards their livestock project and others throughout their project time.
  4. Integrity. Youth should follow the code of ethics when showing livestock projects. They should do the right thing at all times and follow the rules and guidelines when showing livestock projects.

Some ways to encourage teaching youth about trustworthiness could be by:

  • Having youth keep a journal to record ways of being trustworthy.
  • Having youth develop skits at livestock meetings to present on showing ways of being trustworthy
  • Having a resource person come speak at a livestock meeting or county livestock advisory board on doing the right thing, sharing examples of displaying the four components listed above.
  • Having youth make posters on trustworthiness and showing livestock and enter them in the still exhibit section of the fair, so not only will youth have the chance to show their animals, but also have a chance to display what they learned.
  • Having youth make up cardboard boxes listing trustworthy actions on them. As youth stack them up to make a sturdy wall, have them take turns to pull out one at a time to show how quickly trust can be broken.

Be sure to visit the Michigan 4-H website to learn more about the Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Programs and how to get involved.

Read the rest of the articles in this series:

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