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As spring arrives, 4-H members dive into learning new skills

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. It is so magical and gives a promise of new life and new beginnings.

I feel it more this year than in years past; maybe it’s because I have been given a chance to see things differently. After a year of a pandemic and social distancing, it makes the little things seem brighter. Whatever it is, I am loving this beautiful spring feeling.

Over the next couple of weeks, we have some exciting events happening for our 4-H members. The first weekend in May, we will host our 21st annual Horse Day Camp, at which members from La Plata, Archuleta, Montezuma and Dolores counties, as well as San Juan County, New Mexico, bring their horses to the fairgrounds for a full weekend of fun, education and horsemanship.

The schedule this year includes: Western dressage, horsemanship, a veterinary presentation, cowboy games and (my personal favorite) drill team. Our 40 4-H members will have a wonderful time building new friendships with youths from all around the Four Corners and building stronger relationships with their horses.

During that same weekend, we have our Meat Quality Assurance training for our 4-H livestock members. Colorado 4-H requires that all 4-H livestock members complete the MQA training because it teaches members how to properly and ethically grow and raise animals that are used for human consumption. They will learn about food safety, animal well-being and ethics in raising and showing animals. This training will enable our youths to learn and grow as producers and ensure that our 4-H animals are raised with the love, respect and the proper treatment they all deserve.

The next weekend, we are partnering with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and offering a hunter safety class for 4-H youths. This class is required for all of our 4-H shooting sports members to attend and pass before they are able to participate in the shooting sports program. The class ensures that all of our members understand the safety requirements for participating in this program and that they are knowledgeable about the laws and ethics of hunting. We are so lucky Colorado Parks and Wildlife is willing and able to offer a special class for our younger members.

Don’t forget that Earth Day is April 22! Be sure to get out and enjoy this beautiful world we live in; and while you are at it, pick up some trash, plant a tree and start planning your garden.

Angela Fountain is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach her at angela.fountain@co.laplata.co.us or 382-6460.

Angela Fountain