County fairs are a wonderful opportunity for 4-H youth to share their animal science knowledge with visitors of all ages. With fewer and fewer people having a direct connection to agriculture, many questions arise about common practices to care for animals, especially during the fair. Michigan State University Extension, with support from the MSU Department of Animal Science and United Dairy Industry of Michigan, have created a new set of bookmarks to help youth, volunteers and parents answer these questions and start discussions with interested fair visitors.
The Animal Care and Well-Being bookmarks provide answers to commonly asked questions youth may encounter about animals during a show or exhibition. Experts in each topic area were involved in writing the questions and answers to ensure information was relevant, accurate and accessible for a wide audience. Each bookmark has 10 questions and answers related to one of six topic areas:
Some questions, like how to tell if an animal is ill, are common to all species bookmarks, but most questions are very specific to how a certain animal is handled, trained and cared for during a fair or exhibition. The General Animal Well-Being bookmark is an introduction to the topic of animal well-being, offering definitions of what animal well-being means, how it is assessed, information about why this is an important topic and how 4-H helps teach youth about maintaining the highest level of care of their animals.
The bookmarks are not an exhaustive list of questions and answers, but they do provide talking points for youth to have an open dialogue with visitors seeking information about animal science and animal agriculture.
For information about the Animal Care and Well-Being Guide, see “4-H Animal Care and Well-Being Guide released.” For questions or more information about the Animal Care and Well-Being bookmarks, please contact me at email@example.com.
This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit http://bit.ly/MSUENews. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).