Hubbard Life

Hubbard Life Blog

Your resource for advice from Hubbard® Life experts.

4-H and FFA: Where 1 + 1 equals a lot more

I have had the great fortune of working with local 4-H clubs in my county and FFA groups close to the Botkins, OH plant for many years.  It is wonderful to see these bright, eager minds and bodies ready to tackle almost anything, from learning how to handle animals that outweigh them by 10-fold or to step in front of a group of people and speak. 

I just finished working on an FFA project where the kids did not want to perform an old “feed them/weigh them” experiment, but wanted to expand their knowledge.  They wanted to learn more about how new ingredients, like yeast, would affect the gut morphology when added to the animal’s diet. They observed it affected production and more importantly, taste.  They took their research project a step further by visiting our Botkins feed mill to see how their feed was made, and then went to the facility where the birds were processed.     

As I opened my email this morning, I noticed an article from the Pork Network by JoAnn Alumbaugh about 10 Reasons Why your Child Should Join 4-H or FFA.  I was in 4-H for 10+ years, as a youth, and those experiences, and great people I met, help me even still today.  I thought I would share the 10 reasons I believe youth should join 4-H or FFA:

  1. Leadership skills:  I started as a recreation officer and worked to president of many organizations.
  2. Knowledge of agriculture:  I had a step ahead of many of my fellow students when I went to college.
  3. Healthy living:  Life skills on feeding animals correctly and knowing what is in my Cheerios in the morning.
  4. Confidence:  In many of my first Junior Leadership meetings, I did not say a word.  But the experience helped me learn to make friends and work together.
  5. Good Sportsmanship:  Taught me to be a good winner, but most importantly a good loser as well.
  6. Work ethic:  My parents helped, but I learned early that it was up to me to get projects completed or to find an answer.
  7. Community service:  Showed me how great it feels to help someone else.
  8. Lifelong friendships:  I currently live four hours away from my hometown and still exchange Christmas cards with many of my old 4-H friends.
  9. Scholarship and education opportunities:  One of my daughters is a senior in college and the other is in grad school, anything to help save money is HUGE!
  10. And so much more:  Mentors, friends, education, etc.  The list goes on and on.

I am so glad that my sisters, myself, and now my children had the chance to develop and become better people, thanks to great organizations like 4-H and FFA.  

Posted on 1/9/2017 by Dr. Ed Bonnette  |  Category: Equine, Poultry, Cat, Dog, Rabbit, Sheep, Goat, Specialty
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Parasite Control Makes Animals Healthier

A scheduled program for internal and external parasites is a must for your animal’s health.   Whether you have a herd of goats, a few sheep you raise for wool or a horse that you ride on the weekends, you can find information about parasite control by Googling ‘internal and external parasites in…’, then add the animal; ‘goats’, ‘dogs’, ‘horses’, etc.

For internal parasites, worms are the most common and for external parasites we are concerned with creepy crawlers like fleas, ticks and mites.  The best source of local information is your veterinarian who can make you aware of the local parasites your animal may be exposed to and can help set up a control program. Programs vary from region to region so if you are moving to a new area, contact a veterinarian in that area to start on a program specific for the new location.  

If you have not yet established a parasite control program for your animals the best time to start is NOW!  If you have a program follow it rigidly so parasite re-infestations are controlled. If you notice an unexpected weight loss, rubbing, scratching, energy loss or parasites on your animal or in their feces, contact your veterinarian and review/update the control program.  Avoid ‘home remedies’ as the remedy may cause damage to the animal’s skin or digestive track. Follow the use directions on all products and only use it for the animal it is made for.  Inspect your animals frequently for parasites.

Animals look and perform better when they are on a program to control parasites. This is especially important for young animals and those nursing babies as their nutrient needs are greater per unit of food. Parasite-free animals digest their food better which helps young animals grow faster and reduces the amount of food required for older animals to maintain proper body weight.  They are more alert and active.  Hubbard® Life offers products for a wide variety of animals.  It is formulated to optimize your animal’s nutritional needs and health. You can learn more at

Posted on 5/10/2016 by Dr. Dave Whittington  |  Category: Equine, Poultry, Cat, Dog, Rabbit, Sheep, Goat, Specialty
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Life Lessons From a Dog

By Adam Stevermer, U of M Student


Dog: man’s best friend. For 11 years, I had a best friend. We would do chores together, play games together, and be lazy together. She was a fawn colored boxer, and her name was Tess. On Friday, after living a good life, she died. I never wanted this day to come, but after reflecting on her life, I realized that Tess taught me valuable life lessons that will stick with me through my life.

Boys and Tess Aug 04 (1)

Day 1

Love unconditionally. Love with all your heart. Tess would give us a big, slobbery kiss whenever she could. She wanted to show us how much she cared for us. In a world where there is so much hate, don’t be afraid to spread some love.

Enjoy the ride. Whenever we went for a ride in the truck, we would roll down the window and Tess would stick her head out. She didn’t care where we were going; she was living in the moment. Life is short; enjoy every moment of it.

Forgive. Even though we would scold Tess, she wouldn’t hold that against us. She loved us too much to be mad at us. Don’t hold grudges.

Tess 05 (1)

Don’t judge by appearances.  When people would come to our house, they would ask if Tess would bite. She appeared to be a scary dog, when in reality, she was kind and loving. Don’t judge a book by its cover. There is so much more to a person than their appearance.

Chase chickens. Tess loved to run through a flock of chickens. When she did so, you could almost see her smiling. Do things that make you happy.

Be loyal. The best part about dogs is their steadfast loyalty. No matter what was going on in my life, I knew that Tess would be by my side. Dogs are the perfect example of the type of friend we should be.

image1 (3)

Find joy in small things. Tess had many toys: sticks, bones, and a red, squeaky ball. Those made her happy. Likewise, we don’t need the most expensive gadgets to be happy. Happiness can be found in the little things.

Listen before you speak. Dogs are good at listening. Humans are not. We want to be heard. You can learn so much about someone by listening to them. Try it.

Keep digging. If Tess buried a bone, she wouldn’t stop digging until she found it. Don’t give up on a goal or a dream. Keep digging.


I am thankful that I could have a dog like Tess grow up with me. I now understand why dogs are called “man’s best friend.” They’re loyal. They’re loving. They’re forgiving. We could all learn a little bit more from dogs. 


Posted on 4/14/2016 by Guest Bloggers  |  Category: Dog
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