Phillip Broome is active in both 4-H and FFA.
Broome, 17, has belonged to the Happy Valley Livestock 4-H Club in Canyon County for eight years, where he raised sheep and rabbits. He continues to raise sheep in 4H and since 2017, he’s shown rabbits in FFA.
He’s one of the yearbook officers for the Meridian High School FFA chapter. He’s earned several different Supervised Agriculture Experience proficiency gold awards and has been to different state competitions, as well. His mom is Christy Pack of Meridian.
“I still am involved in 4H and I help the younger kids with their sheep and rabbit projects. I appreciate and love the community that supports us,” Broome said.
In FFA, he raises Flemish giant rabbits and has one he named Puff the Magic Rabbit. The breed is raised for meat and for their fur. They’re one of the larger breeds in the world. They can weight up to 22 pounds. Broome recommends rabbit projects for anyone wanting to try 4H since they’re inexpensive to purchase and feed. The experience can help members to move on to other projects.
“If anyone ever wanted to do 4H, rabbits are great because you don’t have to have a lot of space like you do with cows or sheep and you can show the same rabbit for many years,” he said. “My first year in 4H was definitely interesting. I didn’t know what to expect but it was super fun to get started and getting to know everyone.”
In 4H, Broome raises Suffolk-Hampshire cross sheep and shows them in quality and showmanship classes. He’s made it into the top Showman category for sheep once and hopes to make it to the Round Robin class eventually.
“You learn as you go and every year, you have an opportunity to grow. This year, the craziest thing I’ve learned about sheep is that sometimes sheep can overeat and unfortunately they can get super funky and grumpy for a day or so,” Phillip said. “This is because sheep have multiple stomachs and if they eat too fast their first stomach can’t process the food as fast and they get really sick.”
Phillip said both 4H and FFA are excellent youth organizations. He encourages those who want to achieve success to try something unique.
“What you learn in both organizations helps you through your life whether you raise an animal and sell it, or do other projects, or assist others in doing their projects,” he said “Both organizations offer a range of experiences in addition to agriculture that many people really don’t see, as agriculture is more than farms and animals but is a science. It’s also and an opportunity to grow others as you grow yourself.”