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4-H Member Recalls Life Lessons Gained from Showing Livestock

a young woman showing a beef cow
Talli Heim, Jerauld/Buffalo County 4-H member, exhibiting one of her beef projects.

Written By: Danika Gordon, State 4-H Leadership Ambassador and Marketing Committee Member

BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H has been a huge part of Talli Heim’s life ever since she showed her first market steer.

Heim has been involved in a variety of 4-H project areas over the years, including showing and evaluating livestock. She was a member of her county’s livestock judging team and attended judging contests at the local and state levels.

“As much as I enjoyed judging, my true passion was in the daily care of my livestock and being able to compete in the show ring.”

— Talli Heim, Jerauld/Buffalo County 4-H member
Three young individuals walking with a goat
Hagan Tlam (far left), Talli Heim (center) and Chrissy Fouss-Dickson (far right) participate in the iLead: A Voice for Agriculture Program.

One unique opportunity that Heim has been involved with for the past two years is the iLead: A Voice for Agriculture program in Mitchell, S.D.

“This program gives kids with disabilities the chance to work with livestock and compete in the ring just like 4-H members do,” states Heim.

The iLead program was an eye-opening experience for Heim, as she recognized her tendencies to take everyday activities for granted.

For her high school senior project, Heim coordinated a beef fitting, clipping and showmanship clinic and recruited individuals who mentored her throughout her 4-H career to assist with the event. She recalls that the project was a huge success. 4-H members attended from several counties, and all donations received from the clinic supported the iLead program.

“The people I have met, the lessons I have learned, and the opportunities I have been given, I can proudly say are due to 4-H,” said Heim. “Because of 4-H, showing livestock has become a huge part of my life. This industry has taken me down many different paths throughout the years, but I really do believe each battle I faced has made me the person I am today. I only hope that every junior can have the same experience I was given.”

Heim is a 4-H member in Jerauld-Buffalo county and is the daughter of Chris and Meggin Heim. She is currently a sophomore at South Dakota State University studying Agricultural Communications with a minor in Agricultural Business.

two young women showing their animal and awards
Talli Heim (left) and sister, Harlee Heim (right), celebrate the success of winning Grand Champion 4-H Market Beef during the 2018 South Dakota State Fair.