Parental Perceptions of Participation in 4-H Beef, Sheep and Swine Livestock Projects and the Fostering of Life Skill Development in Youth


  • Janice Heavner West Virginia University Extension Service
  • Kelly Hicks West Virginia University Extension Service
  • Shanna Nicodemus West Virginia University Extension Service



Beef, sheep and swine 4-H youth livestock projects have a great deal of hands-on learning opportunities for members. However, what are parents’ perceptions about livestock projects and the development of life skills? The purpose of this research effort was to determine the life skill development gained by 4-H members participating in 4-H beef, sheep or swine projects in West Virginia. A total of 207 caregivers offered insight into the study and answered life skill development questions. These questions were related to decision making, relating to others, developing and maintaining records, accepting responsibility, building positive self esteem, self motivation, knowledge of the livestock industry, developing organizational skills, problem solving, developing oral communication skills, setting goals, developing self-discipline, and working in teams. The findings of this study provide positive insights into the relationship between the development of valuable life skills and 4-H beef, sheep and swine projects.






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