The Laredo International Fair & Exposition is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1963. In 1965, L.I.F.E. became a certified 501 (c) (5) organization by the Internal Revenue Service due to its concentration in the areas of labor, agriculture, and horticulture.
In 1973, L.I.F.E. was determined to be an official 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable organization. L.I.F.E. continues to serve the Webb County youth by fulfilling its mission of promoting the areas of agriculture, horticulture, home economics, and the vocational/industrial trades.
The organization and the county fairgrounds serve as the central station for education camps aimed at training students to provide them with educational resources for their project to be presented at the County’s annual fair. L.I.F.E. works closely with the members of the different 4-H Clubs and high school Future Farmers of America (F.F.A.) clubs.
Primarily, most students raise and show a livestock project which they dedicated an entire year to. Livestock projects include steers, goats, lambs, rabbits, swine, and poultry. However, to expose and prepare students in other career fields, students may also present a canning, baking, sewing, welding, woodwork, or art project through the Homemakers of America program and local art classes.
Additionally, L.I.F.E. promotes teaching the youth leadership skills and community service by having a L.I.F.E. Jr. Board composed of high school students. These young ambassadors assist in promoting L.I.F.E.’s mission while contributing to the community through community service by hosting blanket drives for senior citizens, food drives to benefit the local food banks, pet adoptions, amongst other projects.
Furthermore, this youth ambassador program gives the students a voice within the organization to ensure our services address their needs and our program’s evaluation, design, implementation and help define the program outcomes relevant to them.