Monday, October 23, 2017

Myah VanOrder adjusts the halter on her horse Adina,who she works with in the colt maturity project.Joel VanOrder stands holding his fair chicken Strider, who he brought to the 4-H petting zoo on June 24.

COUNTING DOWN TO 4-H SHOWTIME

With fewer than two weeks away from the 4-H Youth Fair, starting July 31, homeschooled junior leaders freshman Joel, 14, and junior Myah, 16, have been preparing their animals and events at the family ranch east of Hardin.
 
Myah, on her seventh year at 4-H, will be showing her two horses Adina and Dixie, as well as a steer named Fawn. She also will be bringing garden vegetables to the Fair. To her, working on individual goals is more worthwhile in 4-H than getting a ribbon.
 
“It’s more important to me the personal successes and reaching goals than the actual awards,” she said. “Ribbons just sit and rot, but your accomplishments speak much more.”
 
As president of the junior leaders in Big Horn County’s 4-H chapter, Myah’s responsibilities include leading meetings and guiding the decision-making at events.
 
“To me, it means [helping] the younger members,” she said. “When I first started 4-H, I didn’t really know what [it] was about, so that’s what junior leaders are for, to help and encourage younger members.”
 
Joel, starting this year as a junior leader, helped at the 4-H petting zoo, bringing his fair chicken Strider for children to pet. He will be taking Strider to the youth fair, along with his pig Gip. Joel also will be shooting a .22 and building a wooden crate for the fair. He says that 4-H introduced him to animals.
 
“I learned how to show animals,” he said. “Before 4-H, I didn’t know how to show chickens. Now, I do.”
 
According to his mother, Joel is “always doing repairs.” In addition to the crate, he has built various things around the ranch, including a chicken pen, a nest box, and a birdhouse and feeder.
 
To Myah, 4-H can be applied to adulthood, as she is looking at going to college to be a veterinary technician, turning her love of working with animals into a career.
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