‘Good Roots’ talks youth livestock projects in next Arkansas PBS segment


March 24 feature explores how raising, showing farm animals can benefit youth

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Raising and showing livestock can provide Arkansas youth with numerous benefits, both personal and educational. In an all new “Good Roots” segment, the Phelps family, from Paragould, talks about how livestock projects offer unique opportunities for growth and learning for Arkansas youth. “Good Roots” premieres Friday, March 24, during “Arkansas Week” at 7:30 p.m. on Arkansas PBS and livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch.

“We’re trying to raise better young men and women, and we’re using the cattle to do that,” Chris Phelps said.

Whether through participation in programs like 4-H or FFA, or simply as a hobby, raising livestock can teach responsibility and work ethic. Caring for animals requires consistent attention to detail and a strong commitment to their well-being. Arkansas youth who take on this responsibility learn to manage their time effectively and develop a strong work ethic, which can carry over into other aspects for their lives, including scholarships.

“There are scholarships for everything, scholarships for public speaking, winning big shows, judging,” Chris’ son Thompson Phelps said. “You get out of it what you put into it.”

Students can also learn about topics such as animal science, nutrition and genetics, which can be applied to a variety of fields in the future. Raising livestock can provide opportunities for hands-on learning, such as caring for animals and developing marketing strategies for selling livestock.

“One of my favorite things to do with livestock [on] the day of the show [is] getting it ready, clipping it, fitting it, getting it looking as good as I can,” Thompson’s brother Dillon Phelps said.

Participation in livestock shows can also build confidence and communication skills. Students who show their animals must learn how to present them effectively, answer judges’ questions and make lifelong bonds with other young livestock farmers. Some students go on to pursue careers in fields such as agriculture, veterinary medicine or animal science.

Segments and bonus footage of “Good Roots” are also featured on all Arkansas PBS digital platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and the PBS Video app. A blog series accompanies the segments at myarkansaspbs.org.

This segment of “Good Roots” is made possible by support from AcreTrader.

About Arkansas PBS

Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, empowers learners of all ages by educating, informing, entertaining and inspiring communities. Arkansas PBS serves as a daily and essential resource for Arkansans by creating, sharing, celebrating and driving conversation around Arkansas stories and classic, trusted PBS programs through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at myarkansaspbs.org. Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), KETZ (El Dorado), KETS (Lee Mountain), KETS (Forrest City) and KETS (Gaither).