Fair Labor

Fair Labor

Each year 25,000 children from around Montana participate in the Montana State University Extension 4-H program. The kids gain valuable life skill and build friendships as they do projects ranging from agriculture to robotics and complete service projects in their communities. The Booth family in Livingston, Montana is a prime example of the 4-H legacy as father, Dale, himself participated in 4-H as a child in Noxon, Montana. 

 Kodie Booth, a fourth-grader from Livingston, Mont., does evening chores at her families small farm. The entire family is active in the Montana 4-H program where Kodie and her 13-year-old brother Dalton raise sheep for their projects.

Kodie Booth, a fourth-grader from Livingston, Mont., does evening chores at her families small farm. The entire family is active in the Montana 4-H program where Kodie and her 13-year-old brother Dalton raise sheep for their projects.

 The Booth children's project begins in April at a market lamb sale in Manhattan, Mont.

The Booth children's project begins in April at a market lamb sale in Manhattan, Mont.

 4-H families travel for hundreds of miles across Montana for the annual sale. It is considered one of the top sales in the state and began itself as a 4-H project.

4-H families travel for hundreds of miles across Montana for the annual sale. It is considered one of the top sales in the state and began itself as a 4-H project.

 Dalton Booth crunches numbers related to food costs and other expenses to determine his budget for buying lambs at the sale.

Dalton Booth crunches numbers related to food costs and other expenses to determine his budget for buying lambs at the sale.

 Kodie and Dalton are among 25,000 Montana kids who participate in 4-H which is a youth development program of Montana State University Extension.

Kodie and Dalton are among 25,000 Montana kids who participate in 4-H which is a youth development program of Montana State University Extension.

 Kodie rushed from soccer practice to a weigh-in where the lambs are weighed and given a light shearing.

Kodie rushed from soccer practice to a weigh-in where the lambs are weighed and given a light shearing.

 The 4-H program offers children the opportunity to develop life and business skills. The Daltons have even earned enough money through their lamb sales to continue the business, put money aside in a college fund and pay for ski passes at nearby Bridger Bowl.

The 4-H program offers children the opportunity to develop life and business skills. The Daltons have even earned enough money through their lamb sales to continue the business, put money aside in a college fund and pay for ski passes at nearby Bridger Bowl.

 Each day, Kodie has to feed her lambs in the morning and evening and maintain the pens and barn where the lambs live.

Each day, Kodie has to feed her lambs in the morning and evening and maintain the pens and barn where the lambs live.

 A lot is on the line at the county fair in August where 4-H kids come to Livingston, Mont. from hundreds of miles away to compete and sell their lambs at auction.

A lot is on the line at the county fair in August where 4-H kids come to Livingston, Mont. from hundreds of miles away to compete and sell their lambs at auction.

 The young ranchers show their lambs at the Park County Fair where they are judged on a variety of factors from health of the lamb to handling.

The young ranchers show their lambs at the Park County Fair where they are judged on a variety of factors from health of the lamb to handling.

 Jo Anna Booth pins a number to Dalton's back in preparation for showing his lambs.

Jo Anna Booth pins a number to Dalton's back in preparation for showing his lambs.

 Judges at the fair will use the competition as an opportunity to educate spectators, usually other 4-H families, about particular aspects of raising the animals.

Judges at the fair will use the competition as an opportunity to educate spectators, usually other 4-H families, about particular aspects of raising the animals.

 Dalton and a friend take a break after several rounds of judging. The friendships built in 4-H often last for years.

Dalton and a friend take a break after several rounds of judging. The friendships built in 4-H often last for years.

 Kodie demonstrates her handling skills as she leads her lamb around a pen during a judging session.

Kodie demonstrates her handling skills as she leads her lamb around a pen during a judging session.

 The contestants listen as the judge offers feedback about their lambs and their performance.

The contestants listen as the judge offers feedback about their lambs and their performance.

 Months of work paid off in August when Kodie's lamb, Buddie, won grand champion market lamb at the Park County Fair.

Months of work paid off in August when Kodie's lamb, Buddie, won grand champion market lamb at the Park County Fair.