We have had some great weather in Western Oregon this year.  Very strange for us.  Gardens are up, and we don’t even usually plant until Memorial Day.  Flowers are gorgeous this spring and the fruit trees already have fruit on them (very strange).  We usually get a late frost but not this year, in fact we have been having to water the garden already.  New plants do not like 80 plus degree weather.

Cows , of course, are fat and happy.  My neighbor came home and one day my cows didn’t.  When I went to find them they were very happily munching in his field.  His daughter-law was feeding the chickens just as I got there and I asked how they got in those fields, she informed me that Obviously John wants them eating that grass—whoops could have told her that a month ago.  Oh well so far they haven’t eaten the chickens or the little boy that she says they chase.  They do wonder home every few days to say hello and see if I just might give them a bite of grain.

I have a problem that I wondered if anyone out there has a solution to.  I have been a 4-H leader for, well over 40 years, yikes!!  I am on a livestock committee and we have a Youth Fair every year in May.  Everything is sent out early so everyone is aware of what is going on.  Last night we had a meeting and only 14 kids are signed up and Youth Fair is this weekend.  This is not a competition but more of a learning day for the kids.  They bring an animal and we have qualified  people to help them show their animals as well as workshops for things like records, herdsmanship, clipping, etc. We have door prizes, food and everything that should make this a great event for the kids.  When I started it years ago we had it as a competition and it was a two day event, but then somewhere along the line they changed it to just a learning day with livestock one day and horses another.  We used to have so many kids that we didn’t even have barn space for everyone, now we wonder if it’s worth going to all the work to put it on and have kids not show up.  Any ideas out there on how to get kids involved again??  I know kids are involved in a lot of spring sports anymore but with my own kids I always told them somewhere along the way 4-H had to be first, if just for a couple of days.

Anyway hope all of you are having as good a spring as we are, enjoy and have a great summer


6 responses to “MAY REALLY??

  1. Valerie J. Patterson

    Hi Nancy…I like that your neighbor borrows you cows for “mowing” purposes! lol I’ve no ideas for you regarding the 4H. Maybe next year move it back to a competition for one day and learning the day before. Might spark some interest. Hope it all works out in the end. I’m grew up in the city and 4H was nowhere to be found, but I have come to believe it is needed!

  2. 40 years is a long time. I wish I could offer an idea or two but I never got involved. I know things are changing in this world and kids are interested in other things these days. More then once I’ve been thankful for the era we raised our kids in. Have you looked at technical apps that might be used to set up the day. Kids text back and forth a lot and might spur each other on.

    How many cows do you have now? And, how are to goats coming along?

  3. Wow, I wish I had a solution to help you bring in more kids. I think a lot of organizations are struggling with that. The Grange, both in and outside our area, is struggling big time. The only suggestion I can make is to embrace technology if your 4H club hasn’t already. Do you have a Facebook page? Maybe it would help?
    And 40+ years is a phenomenal accomplishment. Volunteering also seems to be becoming a thing of the past, so my hat is off to you for all the time and effort you’ve put into giving our next generations a good set of values.

  4. It’s a modern problem I think, Nancy. I know a lot of organisations seem to struggle with getting children involved in events. And yes,my suggestion would be to try and use technology to get more interest, but I’m not sure how. Laurie’s idea about a Facebook page might be a way in, you could somehow make it interactive if possible. Hmm, not much help, but might be worth thinking around.

    I love your cow story! Made me laugh 🙂

  5. I had to chuckle when I read that about the cows not eating the boy. LOL! And sadly, I agree with the others. Life has changed for kids and the days of being outdoors a lot are sadly gone- once you can get the kid out there, they love it but it’s the getting them interested that’s hard. I wish I had some advice. Jillian

  6. I too haven’t really got a solution to suggest other than turning it more to a fun day/competition for the children instead of a “learning” day, but as the others have said, it is difficult it getting children interested in something if its not on the internet. Hats of to you for doing this for 40 years.
    Enjoyed hearing about the cows. Hope they don’t think the grass is greener next door for too long though else they might not want to come home. 😉

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