It’s that time of year again! 4H Projects Begin!

And so it begins!  Every year our kids each tackle a project for 4H.  For our oldest it is her 5th year.  For those of you who have no idea what a 4H project is, the kids choose a project to compete with and sell at the Jr County Livestock Show in January.  The animal projects are steer, lamb, goat, pig, turkey, or chicken.  I will tell you that it is a great learning lesson in how to care for animals, how to manage a project, learning how to present oneself and your project in front of a panel of judges, and then market oneself and project at the end to the highest bidder.  In the past the kids have raised meat chickens and last year Riley took a stab at a goat.

The kids have to be in the 2nd grade to participate up to the 12th.  This will be Keegan’s first year, though he has helped his sisiters in the past.  While he’ll raise chickens, the girls are trying their hand at turkeys.  It is hard work.  It is disgusting work.  Birds are nasty, but the benefit of the poultry project is that in the end, you have organically raised meat to put in your freezer.

The projects are all encompassing.  They monopolized the family from now until the second weekend in January.  The birds have to be tended to multiple times a day.  They require fresh water, fresh food, and fresh shavings constantly.   You can’t take off over Christmas break unless you have someone that will be as dedicated to the project as the kids are or it could cost you placing at the show.  The first year Riley the middle child joined Reagan I heard Reagan give her advice while teaching her how to turn the soiled shavings, ” Just keep telling yourself, money and dinner…money and dinner.”

After all of the hard work the kids get to take pride in filling the deep freeze with the best tasting poultry you will ever eat and they get to make a sizable deposit into their Scottrade Account.  Yup, at the sale local businesses bid on these kids and their projects.  The girls have brought home an average of $900.00 each year.  All the money is deposited into their own Scottrade account where they watch their money grow.

So every year my husband and I say, UGH!  Let’s not do this again!  But we always do, and are glad we did.Image