Eagle Valley 4-H Club looks at agriculture and more

4-H Club includes both dairy and gardening projects – seeing strong enrolment for a first-time club, with multiple projects.

Bethany Evans and Jacob DeWitt took top prize in their classes in the Eagle Valley 4-H Club public speaking competition.

Sicamous has an active 4-H club in its midst.

As of January 1, the Eagle Valley 4-H Club includes both dairy and gardening projects. There is a strong enrolment for a first-time club, with multiple projects.

The club is pleased to mentor eight Cloverbuds (members aged six to eight years old) and also seven Juniors (members nine to 12 years old).

Club meetings have been held in town at The Hub on Finlayson,  and out at Dari Delite farm.

The club’s seven juniors have been lent heifer calves from both DeWitt Holsteins and the Dari Delite farm. Members are encouraged to work with their calves two to three times per week. Calves are brushed, halter-broke and cared for by visiting 4-H’ers.

Husbandry includes: learning proper cleaning practices of calves housed on the farms (hutches and group calf pens), as well as feeding programs (milk-fed babies are weaned and introduced to hay, grain and free-choice water).

As summer approaches with warmer weather, calves will be bathed, and members (with instruction from leaders and “guest” 4-H alumni) will hone their clipping skills. This will be in preparation for  achievement at fall fairs in Armstrong and Salmon Arm. The Juniors are working hard and are very committed to their calves. Each member chose their own calf, and is well on their way to a successful year.

All of the Juniors and all of the Cloverbuds have gardening projects. This is an exciting time as the club prepares a garden location at the end of April, choosing seeds, enjoying field trips to local nurseries, and then nurturing plants throughout the summer. Produce will be harvested, and subsequently entered in the Armstrong and Salmon Arm fairs’ horticulture division.

The club anticipates mammoth pumpkins, crunchy carrots, rosy tomatoes, delicious cobs of corn, as well as interesting varieties of squash. Yes, even zucchini.

The club’s gardening leader is Lexi Gossen. Her expertise with perennials and flower gardens will definitely “rub off” on club members. Growing flowers and vegetables is a wonderful way for 4-Hers to contribute to their family’s dinner table, not to mention the work ethic of persistent weeding and watering. Thanks goes out to club sponsor, Willow Mist Farm.

Siblings of 4-H members are always encouraged to tag along, in hope that they too will someday become involved in club programs offered.

Meetings and craft sessions are lively affairs, not to mention the great refreshments shared afterwards. Members love to bring their favourite snacks.

There is a rumour that perhaps next year the club may also pursue cooking and sewing.

Several parents of club members were once 4-H members themselves, and recognize the benefits of 4-H. The 4-H movement is more than 100 years old, and is alive and well across our country. Its members choose to belong to a club because of its many varied activities. These include life skill-building tasks, public speaking, record book entries, judging, sportsmanship, parliamentary procedure and learning to work with fellow members.

The 4-H motto is, “Learn to do by doing.”

On March 31, the Eagle Valley 4-H club held its annual public speaking competition. Results were as follows:

Cloverbuds: 1. Jacob DeWitt, 2. Ali Logan, 3. Jasmine Gossen. Juniors: 1. Bethany Evans, 2. Brittany Northway, 3. Samantha Koll.

Congratulations to everyone. Top two finishers, Bethany and Brittany, will advance to district finals on April 14 at the Mara Hall.  Speeches to start at 9 a.m. Go girls, go!

If you would like to support the Eagle Valley 4-H Club in any way, perhaps providing a “work project,” a donation, or attending a fundraiser, please contact the leaders for more information: Joni DeWitt, dairy Leader, at 250-836-4206, or Lexi Gossen, gardening leader, at 250-836-3223.

Our next fundraiser is the spring “Tail Gate” sale on May 19 in the Askew’s parking lot between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you want a great selection of garage sale items for purchase, this is it. Item donations are greatly appreciated.

Submitted by the Eagle Valley 4-H club.