Earlier this fall, I mentioned to my editor that I wanted to attend the North American International Livestock Exposition if given the chance.

The chance came.

The Butler County (Pa.) Beef Breeders Club (a 4-H group) was taking a bus trip to the show and Al Vogel, one of the leaders invited the Farm and Dairy to tag along!

Here is what worried me: a group of youngsters stuck on a bus for at least eight hours!

What occurred was, instead, an experience I will treasure.

The youth ranged in age from 4 to high school age. The younger kids were the siblings of the older ones.

The experience started at 11 p.m. Friday. I honestly thought the group might be wound up but instead they watched a movie and crashed!

When we arrived in Louisville, Ky., these kids were honestly just anxious to see what the show had to offer.

And let me tell you the show had a lot to offer. Show upon show and animal upon animal, there was a lot to view at NAILE.

I can’t talk highly enough about the behavior of this group. They were polite and punctual!

When it came to leave the expo Saturday night, the kids not only were where they were supposed to be, but they loaded the bus even before the time we were supposed to leave!

I thought that was just luck. But this group of youth managed to do it again the next morning when it was time to leave for NAILE and again when it was time to leave for home that afternoon!

Even on the way home, this great group of kids watched the movies playing on the televisions and kept noise to a minimum with giggles and laughs thrown in.

I was actually surprised when we arrived back in Butler at 9 p.m. Sunday night and thought to myself, I would gladly do that again!

I enjoyed talking to everyone on the bus, the adults and the children. I got to know quite a few people and their interests in beef. It was great to hear how they got into raising beef and what they liked about it.

The Butler County 4-H program has a lot to be proud of in their youth. They are helping to shape the next generation of cattlemen and women and that is no easy to task.

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
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