It’s Showtime … Time to Show Your Support for Youth in Ag

In life, it is through trial and error, success and strife, that we find our way. We learn to adjust expectations and reassign our priorities for better results. It’s the school of life, and admission is free of charge.

Ask any parent of an FFA student, and they’ll tell you the Youth Fair experience is much the same, save for the free part.

This month is huge for our youth in ag because the Polk County Youth Fair is right around the corner. It’s a time for the kids to take what they’ve learned and practiced and put it to the test. Therein lie the lessons. I’m also pretty certain that most fair parents would agree with me that this is just as nerve wracking a time for them as well! And don’t forget the volunteers who help to pull the event together.

Some of the most important, yet possibly one of the most overlooked, aspects of the experience are the invaluable lessons that come from the mentor/mentee relationships that are formed. Followers become leaders, and hopefully those leaders stay in the agriculture field. After all, the fair is about more than fleeting competition; it’s also about shaping the farmers, ranchers, and ag personnel of tomorrow.

As a cheerleader for our local youth in ag, F1 Meat Co. is standing by to process the fair animals. Last year, we processed close to 60 steers and about 100 hogs from the Polk Youth Fair, so we’re sure we’re going to be busy. For the Hillsborough County Fair that we just finished, we totaled 209 head.

If you’ve never been to a Youth Fair, I encourage you to go watch tomorrow’s leaders in action and consider investing in our future.

This article is sponsored by Labor Solutions, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of Central Florida Ag News or of its advertisers.

BIO: Baxter Troutman is founder and chief executive officer of Labor Solutions, a staffing company with offices in Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, Arcadia, and Plant City. You also can visit his Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch online at A cattle rancher and citrus grower who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Troutman understands the challenges and concerns of today’s farmer.

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