The warm and sunny days have felt nice lately.
It’s a great time of year to hear the birds chirping and feel spring in the air. The winter moisture that so many farmers and ranchers depend on has been favorable to the mountains and land. Hopefully, the muddy conditions will dry up soon as well.
The 4-H Youth Development Program has had an active week. On Saturday, 4-H Market Beef members from all over La Plata County brought their steers to the La Plata County Fairgrounds to be weighed. This process registers their animals for participation in summertime’s annual La Plata County Fair. It’s always a great day to see so many excited youths and see the work they have already put into their animals.
For many 4-H members, this is a way of life, and these events mark significant achievements. For instance, Keanna Smith of the Mount Allison Go-Getters Club weighed in two Angus steers for competition this summer. Keanna has been a lifelong 4-H member and started the program when she was 8 years old. This will be her last year showing her animals at the county fair. Her entire family knows how sad this fair will be for that reason. However, she promised me she will be around to help younger members in years to come. That’s the 4-H spirit we like to promote.
Also, this week 4-H will be in schools giving presentations about a unique international program called IFYE. IFYE stands for International Foreign Youth Exchange. This program has recent alumni 4-H members traveling to another part of the world to learn about agriculture.
We are excited to have Marissa Bartmann, originally from Greeley, visit our region. She traveled all over the United Kingdom and Greece. This program is a great opportunity for young adults to see the world and come back to the U.S. and share their experience.
Finally, today and Friday, 4-H will be hosting an agriculture education station at the Four States Ag Expo in Cortez. We will be a part of the Children’s Ag Learning Facility that is organized by the great people from the Montezuma School to Farm Project.
La Plata County 4-H will have a fun activity for youths each day. The first day, students will learn about eggs; the next day, leather crafting. Each lesson will highlight the importance of local agriculture.
On Friday at the expo, the La Plata County 4-H Livestock judging team will host its first event of the year. 4-H Livestock judging teams throughout the state will be in Cortez to compete. A big thanks goes out to coaches Beth LaShell and Brad Fassett, and 4-H parents and volunteers for always putting on such a great event.
Next month, you will be able to read my column in the April 15-16 edition of the Southwest Life section. Thanks for reading.
Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach him at email@example.com or 382-6463. Greg Felsen