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Lincoln Dairy Calf Club Continues

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

The Lincoln Dairy Calf Club gathered for the fourth time at Silverholme Holsteins on May 22nd. The club commenced in its usual fashion; the 4-H pledge, administrative tasks, and the continuing battle to remember everyone’s name through ice-breaker games which promise a reward to those with the sharpest memory.

The members were then divided so the senior members could discuss their upcoming show, the EastGen Challenge, taking place on July 5th and 6th. The novice and junior members went through showmanship techniques and best practices to begin training their calves so they will be ready for their first show as well.

After all of the EastGen Challenge duties were divvied up and the showmanship questions were answered, the members ended the evening with snacks from Gayle and the Wiebe sisters. Thank you to the Deboer family for letting our club have the meeting at your farm.

A month later, the club gathered for their fifth meeting on June 12th at Attema Farms. After the usual start of the meeting, the club members were divided into four so we could rotate in smaller groups through our learning rotations.

Station one was a showmanship clinic lead by Angela Moyer. After reviewing how to properly move with your calf and feet placement, members recognized and discussed their own strengths and weaknesses in the show ring. Recommendations and ideas were shared among members to improve their weaknesses.

Station two was lead by Brad Eggink, where he set up a clipping tutorial. Members watched a clipping demonstration and were then able to practice clipping a calf themselves. Everyone was reminded that how they should clip their calf may vary slightly from other members depending on their calf’s conformation.

Brenda Gilchrist lead the third station and introduced members to the 4-H Ontario website. They were shown how they could all log in using their 4-H ID number, and what they can access through the website. Members were also shown how to find other opportunities that are offered by 4-H Ontario, such as Youth Adventure Camp and Career Sen$e.

The fourth station was lead by Mieke Spruit, who talked and taught about the importance of calf care, and how members can track the progress of their calf’s growth patterns. On behalf of the club, we would like to thank the Attema family for being our host and Mrs. Wegener for the club’s snacks and refreshments.

On July 3rd, Vellhaven Farms welcomed the Lincoln Calf Club as the host for their sixth meeting. After the usual meeting commencement, Brad Eggink emphasized the importance of members checking their e-mails, as this is the primary way for club announcements and updates to be made. The group was then divided by three for their learning rotations.

Rotation one was lead by Brad Eggink, who was going over how to judge a dairy cow. Members were refreshed about the parts of a cow, and how the judging scoreboard is divided for her. For example, members learned that the udder is worth the most points. Next, members were asked to give reasons for a class of two year olds in milk.

The second rotation was lead by Mieke Spruit, who educated the club on dairy cow nutrition. The club was taught many aspects of this complex process, ranging from what a cow should be fed to how her digestive system works.

Laura McDougall lead the third rotation, in which calves from the barn were brought out and novice and junior members were given the chance to lead the calves and practice their showmanship skills. Constructive comments were shared and all members are now a little more prepared for the up and coming show season. Thank you to Dave and Marlene Vellenga for being our hosts and Brenda Gilchrist for the treats at the end of the meeting.

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