Hi y'all, it's been a hot minute since I have been here. I do promise that I will eventually get to pictures, but now is just not the right time.
County Fair was... great during the week, hard to prepare for. The week before fair, Lightning's abscess returned, Flame got a swollen joint, and Maple prolapsed. Needless to say unloading at county fair was a huge relief. My chickens did pretty well, and I was top two in show bird and showmanship with my best friend. Lambs probably could have done better, but in the end everybody walked out with a red ribbon and we achieved the unthinkable with Lightning walking out of the ring (I made sure to take it in).
We let Maple go back to her breeder (Flame was sad about that decision), and spent one last month with the boys. State Fair was a very good experience for us, Flame just didn't have his best show day and wasn't quite far along enough for the judge to like him, totally ok with me because he was younger. Flash was amazing in showmanship, and then made the cut and got 11th in his class, while looking like a good lamb. Lighting showed pretty well, I could've probably shown him a little better, but likely his abscess hole made him not even worth considering for the judge. But walking out of the ring with Lightning, I sobbed, after all the struggle we went through, it was so crazy that we made it. That night we did decide to leave the boys in the buy back pen, if my situation wasn't the way it is, we could have just left Lightning there and kept the other two to show a time or two more, but ultimately it was what we had to do, and it just doesn't get any easier. I hope I can figure it out to get one more year in the show ring, but if not, six wonderful lambs have allowed me to be their showman and I couldn't be more proud of those six.
Howdy, so it appears that I got so busy all summer that I never once came back here to share what was going on.
Sitting here this morning though, I am now a former 4-Her. I really don't have words for what 4H did for my life, and the person it made me. I am grateful beyond words for the experiences it gave me that I never would have imagined.
I will really try to get pictures and some more stories up at some point, but for now I am just trying to understand what life will be like now.
Four of my children went through 4-H. They were all County All Stars, one was a State Diamond Star, and all of them were camp counselors, with 3 being head counselor. They showed every kind of livestock, participated in Field Days, Judging Days, Seminars, and did innumerable projects. (The yuonger boys even tried sewing. The baseball PJs DS3 made are being proudly worn by his son now.) They took away so much from the experiences to use in their lives. They are all now in their 40's and 30's. Sadly 4-H and the Fair in our area folded before our youngest (25) got to experience it but she has experienced the work ethic with livestock.
These experiences will stay with you forever. If you have a 4-H record book with photos, treasure it. You can chart your own growth through the years in it. (Our 4-H Books live in a special cupboard and they are first to be rescued in case of fire! LOL)
Congratulations on your growth through 4-H. Depending on the college you choose, FFA is available in colleges with animal husbandry programs. Or consider becoming a 4-H Leader yourself. You can pass on your skills and knowledge to upcoming 4-H youth.