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Lincoln Dairy Calf Club Commences

Submitted by Natasha Tripp
Niagara 4-H - Lincoln Dairy Calf Club
(Posted July 29, 2012)

On March 22nd, the Lincoln 4-H Dairy Calf Club officially began its second year in action. The club this year has a whopping thirty-seven members, as well as three new leaders. We would like to prematurely thank all of our leaders; Brad Eggink, Brenda Gilchrist, Meike Spruit, Brad Comfort, Angela Moyer, Gayle McDougall and Laura McDougall, for their time and dedication to the club, and for their patience that may be required to handle almost forty members.

Our first meeting began as always with the 4-H pledge, a few ice breaker games so everyone could get to know each other a little better, and then it was down to business. The executive positions for the club were nominated and selected by secret vote. Congratulations to this year’s executive team: President: Kim Wiebe, Vice President: Michael Deboer, Secretary: Amanda Comfort, Press Reporter: Natasha Tripp, and our Treasurers: Brendan McDougall and Brad Fledderus. Next, senior members were paired with novice and junior members in our mentorship program, to ensure that every member gets the individual attention they need during the season. After a little more necessary administrative tasks, the meeting was adjourned and ended with delicious snacks complements of Angela. Thank you to Dave Evans who hosted our meeting.

The second meeting took place on April 10th. To increase every member’s ability to learn as much as possible at each meeting, the large group was divided into three and took turns rotating at three different stations. The first station taught members the appropriate show day clothing required and how to prepare yourself before the show, as well as proper show etiquette while you are in the show ring. The second station allowed members to see if their 4-H heifer was an appropriate size for her age, as well as track her growing during the show season, as 4-H heifers grow a tremendous amount from when they are selected to the end of the show season. Lastly, members had the opportunity to judge dairy cows in the barn, after a conformation lesson that explained what to look for while judging. To help the members unwind after all of that education, we rewarded them with snacks complements of Angela and Brenda. Thank you to Dave and Sharon Haws for hosting our meeting.

Our third meeting was held at Vellhaven Farms on May 1st. Member’s were again rotated through three different stations. The first station was dedicated to showmanship, which was explained by Brad Eggink for the senior members and Angela and Brenda for the novice and junior members. Two 4-H calves from the barn were brought out so members had the opportunity to practice their skills and follow the 4-H motto of “learn to do by doing”. Mieke ran the second station and reviewed with members how to properly wash your 4-H calf, and the tools you will need to do so. Lastly, Brad Comfort presented the members with four samples of hay, which we were all did our best to judge and practiced giving reasons out loud. We also learned that one of the best ways to judge hay is to stick your face right in it and give it a good sniff. Just remember to watch your eyes! As usual, our meeting was concluding with wonderful sugary goodness, complements of Angela and Brenda. Thank you to Dave and Marlene Vellenga for hosting our meeting.






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