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Local 4-H stays busy in March

March is a very busy month for La Plata County 4-H.

Besides our regularly schedule hunter safety and education training and market beef weigh-in, we have two camps and a Livestock Judging Contest scheduled this month.

Our County Council Officers from La Plata, Montezuma, Archuleta and San Juan County, New Mexico, have been busy planning our annual San Juan Basin Leadership Camp. This camp is very special to us because it is planned, organized and implemented by 4-H youths for 4-H youths.

Each county is challenged to come up with a fun and educational workshop that they will organize and carry out for their fellow campers from neighboring counties. These workshops are designed to help develop their public speaking, leadership, critical thinking and problem solving skills. We also have presentations from local community members and, of course, tons of fun and s’mores.

On March 24, the La Plata County 4-H Livestock Judging Team will host their annual contest. Livestock judging is a process of evaluating, selecting, placing and giving reasons for that placement on various livestock, including cattle, sheep, goats and swine. The judges analyze animals and measure them against a standard of what is commonly accepted as ideal conformation for that animal’s form and function. Our coaches, Beth LaShell and Aaron Preator, always put on an excellent event. There will be 4-H and FFA members from around Colorado and the western region that will participate in this livestock judging contest.

We will also have a group of 10 4-H members that will attend our statewide Youth Fest Camp in Pueblo. This camp is for our younger youths members, between the ages of 11 to 13. Youth Fest is always a big hit for our young members because it’s usually one of the first statewide camps that they get to attend. They really enjoy getting the opportunity to meet other 4-H members from around the state, build new skills and learn new things. Youth Fest is normally two nights of fun but was shortened to only one night this year. So, my 4-Hers and I decided that we were going to do something super fun the second night and booked an overnight stay at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We are so excited to get to sleep at the zoo and have two private, hands-on tours.

Our enrollment is currently open, and our goal is to make 4-H welcoming and inclusive for everyone; part of this is keeping enrollment fees as low as possible. It only costs $25 to join La Plata County 4-H for the year, which includes project manuals and most of our local activities. We also offer scholarships for enrollment, camps and state leadership events.

If you are interested in getting involved in our 4-H program as a member or volunteer, please reach out the La Plata County Extension Office for more information and the steps to get started.

As always, thank you for your support of our La Plata County 4-H program.