The Parker Town Council heard some comments from residents regarding youth livestock programs and allowing young people to raise livestock within the town limits. Speaking in Call to the Public at the council’s Nov. 19 meeting, they said the Town Council should do all they could to encourage youth to participate in these important programs.
These comments came after a Council work session Nov. 12 where Police Chief Clay Romo said they should possibly revise the town’s youth livestock ordinance. Romo, who supports youth livestock programs, said the town’s current ordinance, if enforced, would make it difficult for young people to participate in these programs.
Kelly McGuire said she had a letter from Dr. Rayeann Solano, a former Parker resident who is now a veterinarian in Blythe, Calif. In the letter read by McGuire, Solano said she’d found backyards with livestock were often cleaner than backyards without livestock. She added these programs teach young people about responsibility.
McGuire said the best time of her day is working with her children and grandchildren in taking care of livestock. She said the money young people earn from selling livestock goes for such things as school clothes and other goods, or it is saved for college.
Dawn McGuire is the advisor for FFA at Parker High School. She said that if youth livestock programs are taken away from young people, they will have fewer opportunities to succeed. She said she was willing to assist the town staff and council in updating the ordinance.
“We need 4-H and FFA,” she said. “Please allow kids to raise animals in their back yards.”
Ryan McGuire, a Parker Valley farmer, remarked that Blythe, Calif. has a new youth livestock facility near Palo Verde High School so young people who are town residents have a place to raise animals. He said he hoped the council would encourage youth to raise livestock as it teaches them responsibility.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without raising animals,” he said.
As these comments were made in Call to the Public, the council could not respond or take any actions. Mayor Dan Beaver thanked them for their comments.
At the Nov. 12 work session, Romo said there were aspects of the town’s youth livestock ordinance that could make it difficult for young people to raise livestock animals at their homes. These include setback requirements, the sizes of the town’s lots, and the need to get permission from all the surrounding neighbors for a young person to be able to raise an animal.
The Nov. 12 work session led to much discussion among council members are the livestock ordinance. Beaver said it was clear the council has some work to do.