Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our 4H Adventure

This year was our first adventure into 4H. Jacob, Sarah and Wyatt were all itching to get a shot at raising their own animals. Sarah was not thrilled with the idea of "harvesting" her project animal so she chose to go into a dairy project. I got so incredibly lucky to find Linda Miller as a club leader. I don't even know how to describe Linda and Ken but if I could adopt grandparents for my kids they would be the ones. Linda welcomed us into her club, "Merry Milkers", and was happy to have all the little ones there as well. She went so far above and beyond for Sarah. She found her an old milking stand to restore. Allowed her to purchase a doeling she wasn't even planning on selling and gave Sarah a adult rescue goat so she would have a chance to breed. She taught the kids how to shave the dairy goats, do basic care and how to show. Sarah had a wonderful time. We both love goats but Sarah enjoyed having her own herd.

At our first goat meeting with Linda we discovered she also used to have a hog club. At our peaked interest, she mentioned her neighbor's teen was interested as well. After a quick call our two families formed "Sizzlin' Swine." Sarah instantly forgot her objections to the harvest and asked for a piglet for her birthday. Again we were blessed Linda helped us find piglets that were in our price range even though it was late in season. Our club members were awesome. A family of helpers and doers. They blessed us extra equipment. They came to weigh our pigs several times and twice, once in deep snow, trailered our pigs to required events. We had such an amazing 4h year. We looked forward to the meetings all season and I looked forward to my emerging young people to be exposed to all these well spoken, well mannered, loving teens. Linda, Ken and all the 4h families in our club's quickly became not just a club but friends.
Our Nevada State Fair was canceled due to the economy so Sarah never got a chance to show her goats and compete with her club. She got to show her goats alone at NJLS but with no competition it was awkward. We were grateful she had chosen to participate in the swine club. The kids did wonderfully for first year participants. I was so proud of them. All three of the kids showed good composure and skill. They worked hard all year and even harder the week of show. NJLS is tough competition and the kids handled it with grace. They got up early, kept good attitudes and did the work with a smile.

They all ended up with ribbons and Sarah even got to participate int he Round Robin, which is a showing show off, so to speak.

We can't wait for next year!


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