BAY MINETTE, Alabama — Young people got an up-close look at some four-legged friends during the Tiger Livestock Clinic, hosted by the FFA program at Baldwin County High School on Thursday, July 25.
The one-day clinic focused on the basic care, grooming, showmanship and nutrition of goats and cattle and was held at the Baldwin County High School barn.
“The students here today are ones who primarily haven’t grown up on a farm or who don’t already have access to cattle,” said Andy Jones, agri-science instructor at BCHS. “We want to familiarize them with our program and hopefully spark interest in showing livestock.”
Because of space restrictions, the clinic was limited to 20 participants, ranging in age from sixth through ninth grades. Sixteen students registered for the program, mainly from Baldwin and Mobile counties, with one participant coming from Evergreen.
While the world of raising and showing livestock was popular in Baldwin County for decades, it all but died out in the 1990s, Jones said.
The FFA program at Baldwin County High revived the program under instructor David Garrett in 2013. A second instructor, Jones, was added three years ago.
“We now have about 287 students in our program, but only about 30 of them show livestock,” Jones said. Students from throughout Baldwin County participate in livestock shows, including the livestock show held every year at the Baldwin County Fair in September.
A few years ago, the Baldwin County High FFA took over a gazebo that was used as an outdoor classroom by the school’s science department and converted it into a pole barn, Jones said.
It is now home to eight cows, 12 goats, a sheep and 16 chickens, which are used in hands-on instruction for their students.
“This is the first year we’ve hosted the livestock clinic,” he said, “and we’re hoping to do this more often to get more young people interested in the program and interested in showing livestock.”
The clinic featured Brent Becker of Bromley Beef, a 40-year veteran in the cattle showing industry; Cari Adkins, who led a clinic on showmanship; and Cole Lincoln, a student at Auburn University who is currently participating in livestock shows. Cole Lincoln’s mother, Daphne Lincoln, owner of Lincoln Cattle Farm in Mobile, helped organize the event.