Thursday, July 28, 2016

Almost there to Fair!

 One of the major preparations for fair is setting up the 4-H barn pens at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds. When you walk into it, all the pens that you see are set up by 4-H members and volunteers.  We all work hard together in connecting the pig, sheep, goat and steer pens, zip tying the poultry and rabbit cages, and setting up the arena and bleachers.
Afterwards, our club (Nehalem Valley Livestock) had our 4-H meeting, prepared decorations for our stalls at fair (lots of spray painting!), and had a barbeque/potluck (someone had too many brownies...) :)
I am really excited, because this year is going to be the biggest 4-H fair in a while! 4-H is really growing, so we had to figure out a new way to set up all the stalls with so many animals! The biggest change from 2015 is that the arena is going to be in the middle of the barn.  There are also twice as many goats (Yay!). This will keep me pretty busy this fair week!
P.S. I would love to see you at fair! Here is a PDF download of the 2016 Clatsop County Fair 4-H Schedule Here

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Biggest Week for 4-H

Since November of last year, we have been working on our 4-H projects. There has been lots of filling out paperwork for health and expense records. And faithfully feeding, watering and washing our animals (not to mention all the poop scooping)! 

Every 4-H member has been anticipating this week, and it is less than two weeks away!

The Clatsop County Fair is just around the corner! For the 4-H kids it starts July 31st, but if you would like to come visit us, the fair starts August 2nd through August 6th.
Below is a PDF of the 4-H fair schedule...I hear there is even an alpaca show! :)
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pigs around the Block

Instead of walking our two Labradors, Alicia and Timothy walk their two pigs around the block…or in our case, a half-mile walk around the field.

They have faithfully taken out their pigs to train and build muscle (every morning) for three months now.  Here is their daily process in Alicia’s own words:

“Bright and early in the morning, I open the outside door to the pigs. When I look inside they are usually still sleeping. I wake them up with a loud, 'hi piggys!'  Once they are awake, they race out the door, I grab my show stick and we start our walk.  Timothy is right beside me guiding his pig along mine. 

My pig (Piggy Pork Chops, or PPC for short) is pretty athletic… he usually runs the entire time.  Timothy’s pig (Stead) is reaaalllly slow.  So farther into our walk PPC is quite ahead of us.  By the time we circle around and come back to the barn, Stead is panting and PPC is all ready to do it again.  But I am not until the next morning.”

Just three more weeks of mornings walks until fair time!!!



Thursday, July 7, 2016

Making us better

There is positively no way that we (my brothers, sister and I) would be able to do 4-H if it was not for my mom. There have been countless times that she has been on impromptu runs for feed, going to the vet, driving a good four hours for animals, helping us perform multiple math problems to figure out much our animals will weigh by fair, and being a “judge” so we can practice showing our animals.
On top of that, when we arrive for the week of fair, she cooks amazing meals, keeps track of all us munchkins and cheers us on at all our shows.  She heartily participates in 4-H by volunteering at the office, as well as the  Chicken Coop (the 4-H fair restaurant) during fair.
She encourages us to do our best in everything, never letting us quit when it is hard.
Mom, you truly make us better.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

4-H in the 4 th

For the second time, our club (Nehalem Valley Livestock), has participated in the Seaside 4th of July parade.  This year we put a lot of energy into our float!  We had planters with flowers, some neat large ribbons, banners, lots of hay bales and tons of balloons.  And of course, much candy!

On the big day we put the finishing touches on the float, and our driver (thank you, Mr. Matt Samuelson!) polished up his truck.  Finally it was time to go!  

There were tons of people so we went reallllly slow through the whole way. The city had required us not to throw candy for safety reasons, so some of the kids had baskets and would we take turns passing out candy to other kids (and adults too!).  Once, when it was my turn, there were so many kids that I got caught up in giving out candy that our float left, so I had to run several floats up before I found it! J  We also had a bull horn that kept ringing out the same words over and over and over as we progressed through the parade…

"We are the Nehalem Valley Livestock, and we invite YOU to join US at the Clatsop County Fair, August 2nd through 6th. On Saturday, August 6th there will be a beef barbeque at 2:00 and a livestock auction at 6:00. Hope to see you all there!”

And there was also the 4-H pledge: “I pledge my Head to clearer thinking my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service and my Health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.” 

I am pretty sure I am still saying them in my sleep. J

We all had fun sharing about 4-H and spreading the patriotic spirit.

I hope you all had an enjoyable 4th of July.  God Bless America!



Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cattle Pedicures!

Matthew and Timothy drove down to Elsie with their steers for a pedicure yesterday.

Now, as you can imagine steers are just not going to stand there and have their hoofs done. The “beautician” brought a large truck with a heavy-duty metal shoot that covered the steer, gently squeezed it and slowly turned it over on its side (so that the hoofs could be easily worked on).

The hoofs were cleaned, filed and buffed- a real steer pedicure! I know it can sound kind of silly, but it does help them walk better and to look show quality (my brother, Timothy, has done this all six years of his 4-H steer career).

After the beautician finishes his work, the steer is gently turned back on its feet… A job well done and no one was hurt.  Another 4-H adventure complete!!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

They're Growing Up...

 Our projects are progressing nicely for fair.  Matthew has been doing lots and lots of training his steer with Timothy.  He is currently working on following his lead, rather than the other way around (which can be difficult with a ratio of 70:1000 lbs).  Thankfully for Matthew, he has a brand-spanking new pair of steel toed boots, so he has a little better protected toes! ☺

Alicia has been very diligent with her animals also. Today she went to a workshop on how to show her lamb and sheep more efficiently.  She loves to work her animals every day… from walking her pig early in the morning with her brother, to cuddling and taming her rabbits.
Timothy has been hard at it this year as well!  Between work projects, he feeds and trains his animals with all of us EVERY day.  At fair, this will be his third time being Junior Barn Superintendent.  This is also his LAST year of 4-H, and he is definitely making the most of it!
As for me… my birdies are all growing quite nicely.  They are just becoming old enough for me to start working with them.  I have also been reading bird books, and will soon get to do something I have never done before: give them all a bath!  I understand it will make their feathers nice and clean for Showmanship, but it still seems very odd…☺