I have been raising and showing 4-H market hogs for six years now! That's a long time and a lot of hogs. My market hogs have gotten better and better with the more knowledge I have learned from my wonderful 4-H leaders. I have had all kinds of breeds and colors of market hogs, from a light cross, to a Hampshire-appearing pig, and all the way to a dark cross.
It has been an amazing experience and I've had so many wonderful memories, but I've also had some tough times. Those tough times have helped me overcome and learn more as I care for my future market hogs. Some wonderful memories that have made my experiences grow every year are learning how to walk my market pig, getting to feed lots of treats, reading books together, naming my pig, and most importantly, just enjoying myself with my project. I have had all kinds of names for my market animals: Lucky, Michelangelo, Romeo, Blake and a few others!
My amazing memories also come with some discomforting memories that show us 4-Hers how much we care for our animals. When my market hog got sick, I was super upset, but when I got to nurse my animal to better health it made me so happy that I could help an animal in need. I have learned so many life skills as I learn how to care for my animals. Some people may think taking care of a market hog is as easy as taking care of a cat or dog but it comes with a lot of responsibility and hard work that many might think is a burden. Raising a market hog involves making sure your animal is washed, making sure the pen is clean, taking time to train your pig and so much more. Yes, all of these things are hard but doing those things shows how dedicated you are to your project, and as a pig shower I understand how much work goes into the project. I have been truly blessed being able to show market hogs for as long as I have and am excited to keep showing. I hold my experience raising hogs in high regard because it has given me skills for a life in agriculture when I am older.
4-H has given me so many great chances to do so many things. Showing market hogs is just one of the many things 4-H has to offer. Thank you to my 4-H leaders who have taught me so much, and thank you to my teen leaders who helped me learn and get better every year!/span>
Do you have an interest in participating in 4-H beyond Placer County? Is leadership one of your sparks? If so, I'd like to share some information about the California Diamond Clover Award.
The Diamond Clover award is the highest achievement for a 4-H youth member. All 4-Hers are eligible for the award once they achieve all the requirements. It will take several years to complete them, but along the way you will have fun, learn new things, and participate in many club, county, and CA 4-H level activities.
I created a plan myself toward this award. After finishing the last requirement in March 2021, I recently submitted my application and an essay for the award. The 4-H Incentives and Recognition Advisory Committee will now review my application and essay when they meet later this quarter.
Here are my top tips for any other 4-Her who is interested in beginning their journey toward the Diamond Clover Award.
Tip #1 – Read more about the California Diamond Clover Award. The University of California 4-H Youth Development Program website lists the requirements. Knowing what they are will help you plan for achieving them. http://4h.ucanr.edu/Resources/Member_Resources/Scholarships_-_Awards/4-H_Diamond_Clover_Awards/
Tip #2 – Create objectives and build a plan to reach those objectives. Several of the requirements include being a member of a state level advisory committees, leading a major event or activity, serving as an evaluator at presentation days, and participating in state level leadership conferences, just to name a few. Having a plan will help you decide when you want to and can take on new responsibilities. Don't get frustrated if your plan is several years long. The best things are worth working hard for.
Tip #3 – Find a 4-H friend who is interested in working toward the Diamond Clover Award. You can share the experiences with someone else, cheer each on and maybe even participate in some of the requirements together.
Tip #4 – Talk about your Diamond Clover Award goal with your 4-H club leader, project leaders and 4-H Community Education Specialist. Let them know what you're doing. You won't be surprised to find these individuals will help support you toward your goal.
Tip #5 – Familiarize yourself with the various 4-H State Advisory Committees. These committees use an application process to build their membership. The deadline to apply is usually May 31st. Not every Advisory Committee needs new members each year, so determine which ones do and apply for one that matches your interests./span>
On Sunday, May 16th, Long Valley 4-H Club will host a horse playday for all of Placer County 4-H members. Bring your horses and/or mini horses and be prepared to have a blast with your 4-H friends and their horses. From walk trot and loping classes to egg and spoon to pole bending and costume contests, there will be contest after contest that will make you smile and laugh all day long.
Who came up with the idea of doing the playday this year? I was talking with my 4-H horse leader Jackie Rhoades last Fall and we were disappointed that so many events were getting canceled due to Covid-19. At the same time, I wanted to earn my Emerald Star. So, we decided that it would be great if I proposed horse playdays for late Spring banking on Covid-19 being under better control by then. I proposed the project to the 4-H office and it was approved tentatively last Fall. We continued to work with Loomis Basin Horsemen's Association to reserve the arena and it all came together perfectly.
Date: Sunday, May 16, 2021
Time: The event begins at 10:00 am, Registration begins at 9:45 am. Must be pre-registered by April 30th to attend.
Where: Loomis Basin Horsemen's Arena
Cost: $20.00 per family
What to wear: Jeans or 4-H whites, boots, and a helmet
What to bring: horse, tack, water bucket, and water bottle food for horse and you, completed 4-H medical form, and money for the entry fee.
At this time, the maximum number of people who can attend:100 people or 25% of capacity. Registration will be closed at that point.
Pre-register here by April 30th:
If you have any questions, please contact Marie Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Chicago Park 4-H Flower Arranging project has had a great time this 4-H year in spite of Covid restrictions and the cancelling the 2020 County Fair. During the Fall we met outside, less than 10 folks, with all 4-H safety guidelines. Our project meetings were held at Dinner Bell Farm in Chicago Park. In October the members were able to pick buckets of lovely flowers before the plants were turned underground for the off season. Molly, a professional flower grower and arranger, showed the youth how to blend flowers with green filler and how to coordinate colors. Everyone took home a bouquet and bucket of flowers to work on at home.
Right after Thanksgiving we went to Dinner Bell Farm again. The youth members learned to make holiday wreaths using various evergreens, dried flowers and bows. Everyone's favorite was the juniper with blue seed pods – not only beautiful but a heavenly fragrance! We were not able to meet during the Covid surge following the holidays, but no flowers were blooming anyway.
4-H allowed outdoor meetings again just in time for Valentine's Day. Safeway donated two large bouquets two days after Valentine's Day. That gave us large hot pink roses, ferns, Baby's Breath, red carnations and pink lilies. Each member made a bud vase arrangement to take home and two to give a resident of an assisted living facility. We have some real talent in our project.
We are looking forwards to Mother's Day, hoping for more flower donations from Raley's afterwards. We plan to make more bud vase arrangements for nursing home residents. If anyone would like to donate bud vases, we need many. Contact Sue Ramey, 575-9455 or email@example.com.