4-H’ers remaining busy during winter months

In this file photo, a 4-H member prepares her cow for show during July’s Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fair. Members spend winter months attending educational sessions to learn about their projects for next year’s fair. (Pioneer file photo)

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Every July, 4-H members and their animal projects take center stage during the Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fair.

However, the time spent learning as much about their projects and hours of dedication begin long before July.

During the winter months, the program continues searching for new members while current Osceola County 4-H’ers are busy with an ongoing education series, focusing on animal science for the youth, said 4-H Program Coordinator Jake Stieg. Animal science is the study of the biology of animals which are under the control of people, primarily farm animals.

STIEG

“We’re actually finishing up our enrollment,” he said. “We’ve been very active in our education series. We had great fall sessions and will continue those for the next couple of months.”

Stieg said the series, which takes place each month, is a requirement for all 4-H’ers who want to show their projects at the annual fair in Evart.

“We host multiple meetings throughout the winter, and learn about animals, from livestock to all the small animal programs,” he said. “This fall, the 4-H’ers decided what they wanted to do for the educational series. They wanted more hands-on activities to help them learn about the animal sciences.

“We cover everything we can about the many species sold at the county fair.”

Stieg said many of the 4-H’ers enjoy a “Jeopardy”-style game to help them learn about cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry and horses.

“They really like Jeopardy, and we are able to cover a wide variety of things they can learn and need to know,” he said.

Along with weighing in future beef projects, Stieg said much of the winter is getting ready for the upcoming year and preparing the youth to be ready for warmer weather.

“We’re going to have a statewide educational day in March at the Kettunen Center (in Tustin),” he said. “It’s a chance for 4-H’ers to learn a lot in just a couple of days. It’s the first time we’re going to be holding this. We also have a training set for February.”

Stieg said those sessions will focus on youth and leadership development, which help build skills and knowledge for adults and volunteers who work with 4-H’ers, as well as hands-on developmental or subject matter experiences for participants.

As many 4-H’ers work on their animal projects for the fair, another popular program will begin Jan. 8 at Reed City Middle School, as the shooting sports program starts.

The 12-week program allows youth to use pellet and BB guns, Stieg said.

“The kids learn the proper ways to shoot and they get better as the weeks go on,” he said.

For more information about any of the Osceola County 4-H programs, contact Stieg at (231) 832-6139 or stieg@msu.edu.

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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