Navajo Gaming Spurs Enthusiasm with Navajo 4H Youth at the Shiprock Fair
Gaming Provides continued support of Northern Navajo Nation Fair and 4H Livestock Show
SHIPROCK, N.M. — Navajo Gaming sponsored the barbecue that kicked off the Northern Navajo Nation Fair last week, providing meals to more than 3,500 locals and fair visitors. The following day, Navajo Gaming Interim CEO Brian Parrish and the Navajo Gaming team had their bid cards ready for the 4H Livestock Show and Auction. The purchase of the livestock from Navajo youth serves two purposes – providing an educational experience on raising livestock, plus proceeds are donated to Senior Centers on the Navajo Nation, feeding numerous elders.
Navajo Gaming Interim CEO Brian Parrish, a livestock owner himself, knows the value of raising livestock from birth to table. At the show, livestock is assessed, judges speak to the livestock owners as they drive hard sales pitches enticing potential buyers by talking about who they are: including the Navajo clan information, where they are from, the 4H organization they belong to as well as additional value should you purchase their livestock.
Parrish stated that this is one of the best events at each of the Navajo Nation Fairs. “We enjoy supporting the teaching of Navajo youth. Doing this at an early age, caring for livestock from birth to showmanship, is remarkable. We purchase the livestock and it is processed, then donations are made to Navajo Nation Chapter houses and Elder Centers throughout the Navajo Nation.”
4H is a nonprofit national organization with more than six million participants, with 2.6 million children taking part in rural settings like the Navajo Nation. It is an organization that teaches hand-on projects like health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement. The organization believes in the power of young people. They see that every child has valuable strengths and can be taught valuable skills to last a lifetime. The Navajo Nation has approximately 35 4H clubs, according to the Indian Country Extensions, 4H Youth Programs publication.
Tyann Layton of Sanders, Ariz., a 4H member of Heritage Stock & Roots Club for six years, was asked what being a member of 4H has taught her.
“It brings out the best in me, shows me respect and how to care for others not just yourself. When it comes to tight situations you just have to show you are strongest because the world will chew you up and spit you out,” she said.
Tyann proudly showed her award-winning sheep at the Shiprock Livestock show and auction.
Tyann’s mother, Kimberly Yazzie is the Heritage Stock & Roots Club organizer which is a very young organization – just three years old with 11 members. “It has been very rewarding to see these children grow in knowledge, showmanship and even basic entrepreneurship skills at a young age. Plus, working with the youth has certainly enhanced my skills as a beef marketing specialist with Navajo Beef, Labatt Meat Company, LLC,” said Yazzie.
Other Navajo Nation 4H clubs at the show were Oakridge 4H Club, Dreamweavers 4H Club from San Juan County and many more.