‘Good Roots’ talks youth livestock projects on Friday

CONWAY — Raising and showing livestock can provide Arkansas youth with numerous benefits, both personal and educational. In an all new “Good Roots” segment, the Phelps family, from Paragould, talks about how livestock projects offer unique opportunities for growth and learning for Arkansas youth. “Good Roots” premieres Friday, March 24, during “Arkansas Week” at 7:30 p.m. on Arkansas PBS and livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch.

“We’re trying to raise better young men and women, and we’re using the cattle to do that,” Chris Phelps said.

Whether through participation in programs like 4-H or FFA, or simply as a hobby, raising livestock can teach responsibility and work ethic. Caring for animals requires consistent attention to detail and a strong commitment to their well-being. Arkansas youth who take on this responsibility learn to manage their time effectively and develop a strong work ethic, which can carry over into other aspects for their lives, including scholarships.

“There are scholarships for everything, scholarships for public speaking, winning big shows, judging,” Chris’ son Thompson Phelps said. “You get out of it what you put into it.”

Students can also learn about topics such as animal science, nutrition and genetics, which can be applied to a variety of fields in the future. Raising livestock can provide opportunities for hands-on learning, such as caring for animals and developing marketing strategies for selling livestock.

“One of my favorite things to do with livestock [on] the day of the show [is] getting it ready, clipping it, fitting it, getting it looking as good as I can,” Thompson’s brother Dillon Phelps said.

Participation in livestock shows can also build confidence and communication skills. Students who show their animals must learn how to present them effectively, answer judges’ questions and make lifelong bonds with other young livestock farmers. Some students go on to pursue careers in fields such as agriculture, veterinary medicine or animal science.

Segments and bonus footage of “Good Roots” are also featured on all Arkansas PBS digital platforms, including YouTubeFacebook and the PBS Video app. A blog series accompanies the segments at myarkansaspbs.org.

This segment of “Good Roots” is made possible by support from AcreTrader.