4-H clubs recruiting new members

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Rabbits and lambs and pigs, oh my. It’s show time for local 4-H kids as they take their livestock projects to the Gold Country Fair in Auburn today through Sunday. The youth have spent months raising and nurturing their animals with the grand finale being the showing, judging and sale of the animals. “I’m attached to Gabby. When I call her name, she’ll come. I can hold on to her and she won’t struggle to get away,” said Cheyenne Sanchez, 10, of Loomis, as she discussed her 4-H lamb. Cheyenne doesn’t have to buy her lambs because her family raises them on their Loomis farm. Cheyenne will have five lambs at the Gold Country Fair and will sell one and put the money into a savings account for college. Jamie Chinn, 16, a Del Oro High School senior, participated in 4-H and now is in FFA. She said that over the years she’s raised chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats and sheep. “4-H gave me the building blocks, helped throughout my process of leadership, gave me people skills,” Jamie said. Amanda Baker, 11, of Loomis, is participating in the fair for her sixth time. She said she started in 4-H with rabbits, graduated to pygmy goats and now is in the big time with swine. For three months she has cared for her pig, Fancy, knowing that the day would come when Fancy would go to market. “I called her Fancy because when I first saw her she walked fancy,” Amanda said. Amanda said it hasn’t bothered her before to have to sell her pigs, but she admitted she’ll be sad to sell Fancy. “I really like her,” she said. Amanda has also participated in numerous other 4-H projects, including cooking, beekeeping and sewing. Ellen Doerner, Loomis Community 4-H leader and project leader, said participants can choose from a number of animals to raise, depending on the child’s age. She said different chapters offer different animal projects. Some of the animals are raised for meat or breeding and are auctioned off at the fair. Some animals return home with their owner. Karin Sinclair, of Penryn, is a 4-H project leader for sheep with the Miners Ravine club. She said participants gain a lot from the organization. “I think just the togetherness, the group participation, is important,” Sinclair said. “The kids work really well together. When we have a 4-H meeting I try to have the kids participate. The older kids run the meeting and the little kids listen to them more than to us older folks,” she added. Doerner said that 4-H community clubs are currently taking youth enrollment and need adults willing to devote a minimum of six hours to lead a project. Her club members raise pigs, poultry and rabbits. Miners Ravine raises pigs, poultry, sheep, beef, pygmy goats, horses and bees. “Doing these projects teaches life skills. The kids plan meetings and do community service. It’s a fun way to learn different skills,” she said. For more information, contact Doerner at 652-0584 or Elaine Carpenter, community leader for Miners Ravine, at 791-5965.