The development of youth leadership life skills including critical thinking dispositions as a result of commercial dairy exhibition
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The primary purpose of this study was to assess the development of youth leadership and life skills (YLLSD) and critical thinking dispositions of students and determine if there is a relationship between the development of critical thinking, YLLSD and participating in the commercial dairy heifer project. The study was conducted using survey research which employed mostly descriptive analysis. It was a census study, but it used inferential statistics to make generalizations to the population. A subsample of 103 students were selected from a sample of all dairy exhibitors from the Georgian Junior Livestock Commercial Dairy Heifer Exhibitors database ranging from grades ninth through eleventh. A total of 62 were returned for analysis. Exhibitors’ Youth Leadership Life Skills Development scores ranged from 39 to 90 with a composite mean of 70.16. The EMI scores showed an increase of development of the Engagement (8.02), Cognitive Maturity (6.24), and Innovativeness (5.49) constructs post dairy exhibition suggest that dairy exhibition increases critical thinking dispositions among students.