Eagle Valley 4-H Club members show off their clean coveralls before getting down to work. The club has just completed its first year.

Dairy and gardening projects enrich lives of 4-H Club members

The Eagle Valley 4-H Club has completed its first year, offering a variety of activities for its 15 members.

The Eagle Valley 4-H Club has completed its first year, offering a variety of activities for its 15 members.

Monthly meetings were paired with comparative judging, public speaking, discussion and work on record books and informative talks on gardening focusing on soil types, fertilizing, seed development, plant selection and much more.

Gardening projects for Cloverbuds, ages six to eight, included planning vegetables and flowers to grow, harvest and then enter in both the I.P.E. Armstrong and Salmon Arm Fall Fair. Some Cloverbuds participated in a field trip to the official club sponsor, Willow Mist Farm. This nursery, owned and operated by Kagen Sharpe, instructed members on plant selection for hanging baskets, and then donated plants, soil and containers.

Hanging baskets flourished over summer months, and resulted in lovely decoration for the club’s dairy heifer displays at the attended fairs. Special recognition goes to gardening leader, Alexis Gossen, for many hours spent on the telephone, co-ordinating meetings, outings and work bees with the club members and their families. Lots of wonderful memories were made.

The club’s six junior members also enjoyed gardening projects, which they entered at the I.P.E. and Salmon Arm Fair. In addition, these girls took on dairy heifer calf projects. Several members rode the school bus out to Dari Delite farm in the afternoons, two to three days every week, from February to September, caring for, training and recording development of their heifers. Weekly chores built confidence, taught work ethic and deepened friendships.

The 4-H motto is Learn to Do By Doing, and everyone did just that.

A successful program is dependent on a strong network of behind-the-scenes people. The club is grateful to John, Nic, Lindy and Steffanie DeWitt for their support in this way. Five out of six heifers came from Dari Delite farm. Comparative judging, showmanship and clipping your heifer for the show ring were all required elements for 4-H members. Nic, Lindy and Steffanie DeWitt, with Alexis Gossen, used their knowledge and experience to mentor junior members and their calves. All came out to cheer on the club on show days.

The club was also grateful for the support they enjoyed from two very special grandmas, Nellie DeWitt and Lorna Reid, who throughout the year supplied chocolate milk (D Dutchmen Dairy, of course), and timely fiscal contributions. As well, members received pails of cupcakes, brownies and breakfasts-to-go while spending time at the fair.

On Nov. 4, the Eagle Valley 4-H Club held its year-end awards night. A delicious potluck supper was enjoyed by all and thanks go out to all the moms and grandmas.

Award results were given as follows:

Cloverbuds, aged six to eight years, received gardening tools and gloves: Jacob DeWitt, Jasmine Gossen, Teyva Greer, Emerald Hepner, Mason Larson, Ali Logan, Daphne Miller and Allison Rokosh.

Juniors, ages nine to 12 years, received dairy heifer recognition for projects, record books and their own achievements. Individual awards were given as follows:

Participation and dedication: Kristen McMillan; service award and husbandry – Samantha Koll; service award and sportsmanship – Bethany Evans; champion calf and high achievement – Taylor Grenier; high achievement in showmanship: Madison DeWittt, who was awarded an engraved show halter.

Best overall finish in club achievement went to Brittany Northway with a third in club achievement, a second in judging and public speaking, and a first in record book. She was awarded a Montana silver buckle. Congratulations everyone.

Registration for the 2013 season is in early January. Contacts are Joni DeWitt, dairy projects: 250-836-2329, and Alexis Gossen for gardening projects at 250-836-3223.

Submitted by the Eagle Valley 4-H Club.