The Highland Rider 4H group wanted to work with calves this year. The calves were friendly but their mothers were another story. Most all cows are very protective of their babies so we decided to wean the calves early.
That way the 4Her's could work with and get to know the calves safely.
Then the hard work started. Weaning calves is stressful and needs to be done with great care. Each day at least one member of the Highland Riders took the temperature of each of six calves, they checked body weight, checked for scours and recorded all of their data. The calves were regularly weighed and a note was made about how much each was eating. The 4Her's not only learned about weaning calves learned to observe their animals and predict behavior. It was hard work. They spent hours each week socializing, cleaning and collecting data on their animals.
The pay-off came at the Deerfield Fair where they showed in the Open Beef Classes and the 4H classes. The Highland Riders got to show the fruits of their hard work and were judged on the results.
Not only did the Highland Riders 4H group work with calves, they also built a garden. Most of the produce from the garden went to the local food pantry. A sample of their produce was put in a 4H display at the Hopkinton Fair where it won the Commissioner's Award for Excellence in Agriculture. This NH Agricultural Excellence Award is presented annually to exhibitors participating in NH fairs that promote a better understanding of agriculture and rural life. This year the Highland Riders recieved the award for their exhibit at the Hopkinton Fair.
It was my greatest joy this year to host these hard working young farmers on our farm. I am so proud of each and every member of the Highland Riders. They were patient with each other and their calves. They helped each other and helped our barn neighbors at the Deerfield Fair. They are an amazing group of young adults who have made the world just that much better.