Eleven girls and boys from the Belfair, Washington, area come to the Pacific Northwest Salmon Center with their parents on Mondays and Thursdays to learn about animals, leadership, and communication. The children created The Farm at Water’s Edge 4-H Club in February 2010 and recently celebrated huge success at the Spring Youth Fair in Chehalis, Washington. They competed in Obstacles, Steeple Chase, and a Costume Contest with alpacas , and again in Showmanship with alpacas, goats, and chickens. One member took reserve grand champion in the intermediate class and another took grand champion in the primary class. For the chickens, one member took first place in the intermediate division and another student took first place in the senior division. All members “did a great job” and have memories and ribbons to show their successes.
“I like the 4-H Club because it helps kids in real world situations. Taking the time to train and truly understand an animal as we do here (at the farm) requires every member to learn patience and understanding. 4-H is a very rewarding activity,” said member Audrey Lambert.
“4-H has been an amazing experience for my daughter. She took her love for animals to a new level in working with Huckleberry (a two-year old alpaca at the farm). It’s been fun for me to watch her enthusiasm and frustration in learning to deal with the changing attitude of a very bright and opinionated animal, who may or may not decide to “behave” on any given day. One of the biggest accomplishments my daughter achieved this year was earning “Grand Champion” for her presentation on “Ulcers in Alpacas” at the Spring Youth Fair,” said Leah Potter, parent of Abbie Potter.
Next, the club will attend the Mason Area Fair in July and then the Kitsap County Fair in August. For more information, please contact Mendy Harlow at the Salmon Center, 360-275-3575 ext. 23 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.pnwsalmoncenter.org/club.