Credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth Osborn
Amarisah Osborn and Dave Rand of Alvord’s Custom Meats stand together after the local business purchased one of Osborn’s rabbits at the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo.
As of Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Although he wasn’t involved in 4H or FFA while growing up in Sunnyside, Mike Alvord III sees the value in the organizations.
He sees the future of the Lower Yakima Valley in the faces of the youth who invest their time, raising animals and focusing on projects for their clubs and the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo.
As owner of Alvord’s Custom Meats, and the father of a 4H member, he decided it is important to help those youngsters at this year’s fair.
He purchased many of the market animals from the small animal barn — rabbits and poultry.
“My daughter showed chickens this year,” he said, noting he saw first-hand the responsibility and dedication required to raise animals for the fair.
Supporting the children whose animals were shown and sold from the small animal barn was a way for him to reward them for their efforts, Alvord said.
“I have hopes of purchasing beef and swine in the future,” he noted.
In the meantime, he also provided assistance with improvements to the beef barn. He helped install new siding before the fair this year.
“4H and FFA are learning opportunities,” Alvord said.
Parents often help the children, but as they mature, the kids take on more responsibility for their animals and projects. They learn leadership by being involved in the clubs, too, he said.
“It’s like everything else in that people may not understand the value at first, but they learn morals, responsibility and other life skills like work ethic and fiscal responsibility,” Alvord said.
His contribution, purchasing the animals, provides the children the chance to see the monetary value of their work, as well as start all over in preparation for next year.
“The more I’m there, it makes me wish I’d been a part of the programs,” Alvord said.
Seeing the children grow and learn valuable skills is rewarding, he said.
“That’s our job as adults — rewarding them on sale day, paying a value that extends beyond money,” Alvord said.