Skillathons and Youth Leadership Life Skill Development 

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Christopher T. Stripling, Associate Professor

Last week as I watched youth exhibit their livestock in Murfreesboro, I was reminded of two research projects conducted by former ALEC graduate students. Did you know that youth perceived they had moderate gain in their youth leadership life skills develop as a result of participating in Tennessee beef and sheep skillathons? Tennessee youth believed they improved their ability to set goals; be honest with, respect, and get along with others; and handle mistakes. This suggests that skillathons should continue to be an integral part of the overall livestock program in Tennessee. Additionally, Tennessee youth indicated 4-H agents and guardians were motivating factors for participating. As a result, you should be encouraged and I hope you will continue to nudge your 4-H members to participate and inform their guardians of skillathon benefits.

Based on the following research:

Harris, J. M., Stripling, C. T., Stephens, C. A., & Loveday, H. D. (2016). Life skill development of youth participants of the Tennessee 4-H beef skillathon. Journal of Youth Development, 11(1), 88-97. doi: 10.5195/jyd.2016.436

Kimes, T. R., Stripling, C. T., Stephens, C. A., & Loveday, H. D. (2016). Life skills gained from and reasons for youth participation in the Tennessee 4-H sheep skillathon. Journal of Extension, 4RIB7.

Skillathons and Youth Leadership Life Skill Development