Friday, September 12, 2014

The TRUTH About 4-H and FFA

NOTE: This is from my "Shine Like Stars" blog, but since it has to do with food, I'm also posting it here. Plus, it's really an important topic for everyone!
Interesting that I should see this post...not five minutes since my 16-year-old son came home to rescue our goats. A few of them had gotten out of their pen and the huge Boer buck was trapped in a knot with a halter on his hoof.  He was lying there looking dead when I ran out to help.  I thought he was dead, all sprawled out and not moving.  He was scared, and if he could have talked, I'm certain that he would have said, "Thank You" if he could have, once he was freed.

And then this:  CNN'S article asking, "Does 4-H Desensitize Kids to Killing Animals?"   It's amazing really, that people really believe 4-H hurts kids or could hurt kids.  It's amazing too, that so many that cry out about animals being killed for food, actually do eat animals themselves, or animal products.  The article does show positives and negatives, so it's not totally bashing 4-H.  But, in this post, I'm focusing on those who are against it.

What people like this don't realize is that God made the animals for PEOPLE to use.  He provided them for us. That was his plan. Too many in the world have mixed it up and think that PEOPLE were created for ANIMALS.  Completely, completely false.  God said for man/woman to rule over the animals.  Care for the animals. Tend to the animals.  And after the flood, to use the animals for food.  

The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.  Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. Genesis 9:2-3

God set man/woman apart from the animal world.  Man/woman have souls.  Animals do not. Contrary to the popular movie, "All Dogs Go to Heaven", no they don't.  In fact, NO ANIMALS go to heaven. Heaven is reserved for God's people - those who have become followers of His Son, Jesus.  

God blessed them (Adam and Eve) and said, "Be fertile, increase in number, fill the earth, and be its master. Rule the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that crawl on the earth." Genesis 1:28

Sure animals bring joy to our lives, but they can also teach us things - like responsibility through the 4-H or FFA program. They teach a strong work ethic - something that is missing in many families today who want everything handed to them.  

I remember like yesterday leading my calf onto the trailer to go to market. I cried all the way there.  And then "Sam" slammed me into the side of the trailer, making my shoulder bang up to the metal side with his 1000 plus pound body.  I wasn't happy with Sam for hurting me. I was crying because he was going and crying because he was hurt.  Sam came back home in different packaging than he went on that trailer.  Our family was fed by Sam.  Sam couldn't live forever.  He had served his purpose.  Now the work and feeding program he was on during his life was benefiting my family in his death.

If I didn't care about that animal project, why would I still remember it so vividly?  I wouldn't.  I remember the good times with Sam...and that one bad time of him hurting me.  I remember all of my calves that same way.  

My children do the same with their goats and pigs.  It's a learning experience that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.  They are learning great lessons.  4-H is GOOD.  It's GREAT!  FFA is GOOD. It's GREAT!  

The  4-H and FFA programs are vital to our communities and even our cities.  I think it would be great if those who are so opposed to "farm" and "agriculture" saw how those two entities would affect the very products that are in their homes.  Almost EVERYTHING is tied to agriculture in some way.  If I could snap my fingers and make "their" stuff with ag-related products disappear, they would be shocked at what would be missing!  Ha! If only that could really happen!

So, parents....don't be afraid your child is going to be warped from joining the local 4-H club or FFA chapter.  If anything, it will make them stronger.  It will make them appreciate the things God has given to us - the things He created for us.
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