As far as the kids are concerned, a huge part of our having a farm is so that they can be in 4H and learn about ranching from the perspective of the 4H curriculum. We are still learning a lot about the assumptions and philosophy of this program, but we really respect it so far, and we owe so much to OSU Extension for all that we’ve learned through their small farm and 4H programs. Here are the highlights from the culmination of our kids’ work this year in 4H, at the Yamhill County Fair:
A couple of weeks before the fair the kids got together at one of our 4H leaders farms and learned to “slick shear.” Mason was a natural.
In the sheep barn… Mason and Bailey, getting used to wearing “western gear” for the first time.
Tuesday: the kids waited in line on the day before fair opened, to see how much the market lambs weighed. These three lambs had been in this line before, in April, for an initial weigh-in. This time they are a lot bigger, weighing from 114 to 122 pounds.
After the first time in the show ring on Wednesday, all of the kids went with their market lambs to have photos taken, to give with thank you notes to eventual buyers at the auction.
Thursday was the most intense day for all of us. They started out in the morning with showmanship, and a prep-talk with the judge.
Bailey lost his lamb in the ring, but a barn superintendent helped him to catch her…. and eventually bought her from him at the auction!
Jimmy took this photo of Taj bracing her lamb with the judge during showmanship. She was nervous, competing with the most experienced kids.
Mason chose to show an additional lamb in the “breeds” class. He’s with two other kids from our club here, all showing Dorpers.
Saying goodbye to the market lambs was the hardest part, but all three kids got top dollar for their lambs in the auction. Mason’s was bought by a man who owns a farm equipment and repair business in Sheridan, who had met Mason in the barn and liked the way that Mason taught his son about his lamb. Taj’s lamb was bought by a woman who had been there for the showmanship competition and liked the look of her handsome ram lamb, and Bailey’s was bought by our barn superintendent.
Bailey was the champion of all of the kids in our club, who did felted wool-covered soap projects for the fair. Mason also got a trophy for being the Reserve Champion in his class of first year intermediate showmen. All three of our kids got quite a few blue ribbons. Our club also got the Herdsmanship Award for having the cleanest stalls and aisles in the barn also. The kids walked away with some cash as well yesterday. Every blue ribbon is worth $2 and every red one is worth $1. The “SF” on Bailey’s entry tag means that it qualified to go on to the State Fair!
Taj was very close to buying this bunny that was for sale in the rabbit barn. Rabbits will be her 4H project next year.