Sunshine Acres is proud to give children the opportunity to participate in our Livestock Show Team! This program is a nine-month commitment through which the children learn to raise lambs, goats, steers, and heifers. From the time they meet and begin working with their animals in August, the children must learn how to gentle their animals to be safely handled, bathed, clipped, medicated, and presented properly in the show ring in order to be in top condition for sale in the Youth Livestock Auction at the Maricopa County Fair in April. Each child is responsible for the daily feeding, care, and well-being of their assigned animal as well as working together to complete regular barn chores, packing and preparing equipment for all shows, tracking feeding and care paperwork to show what went into each animal, and learning the anatomy of the species they are raising. All of this presents excellent daily opportunities for our children to grow and learn.
The emphasis of this program, like many at Sunshine Acres, is to build the character of a child so the lessons they learn and the habits we instill in them are carried throughout their life, long after they leave our care. Show Team kids learn responsibility, accountability, trust, teamwork, respect, compassion, and the development of a good work ethic. They are taught how to recognize and execute work that needs doing and are given opportunities to be leaders among their peers. We are proud to have many of our kids return to this program year after year because they find it so rewarding, and we continue to see personal growth in our “Show Team alumni” as this program inherently presents new challenges and exciting possibilities every season. We are very impressed by the passion and hard work all of the Show Team kids put in, as many of them participate in multiple extracurricular activities. From karate to choir, flag football to off campus jobs, our children learn to manage their time while balancing school and maintaining high academic standards in order to show.
You can see our Sunshine Acres Show Team compete several times throughout the season at various shows, but the best places to catch them in action are at the Arizona State Fair, the Sunshine Acres open house at the end of February, and the Maricopa County Fair. We love to have crowd support there to cheer for these very hard working kids! In addition, we would like to say a huge thank you to our awesome community, our donors and volunteers; this program would not be possible without your support!