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4-Hers explore the world of small animals


Last updated 8/8/2018 at 10:36am

Storey Jackson, 4-H Leader, shares ideas and tips for creating educational posters. - submitted photos

(Keller – 8/1/18) Keller Valley Highriders 4-H Club hosted a 4-H Small Animal Clinic Wednesday, August 1, 2018, at the Keller Community Center. Youth and families came together to learn how to care for chickens and rabbits and to prepare their small animal 4-H projects for exhibition at the Ferry County Fair.

A variety of topics were covered during this educational workshop. Storey Jackson, 4-H Leader, and Linda McLean, Colville Reservation WSU Extension Director, taught about Educational Posters, Basic Animal Care, Safety while Working with Animals, Sportsmanship In and Out of the Show-Ring and What Ribbons Mean. "It is important to understand that a ribbon award is based on one person's (judge's) opinion on any given day," stated McLean. She went on to explain that the ribbon-system that 4-H uses is the Danish System. Each color of ribbon represents a different level of excellence or mastery. For example: White – the exhibit meets few standards and expectations of category/class; Red – the exhibit meets most standards and expectations of category/class; Blue – the exhibit meets all standards and expectations of category/class; Reserve Champion – second-best exhibit overall in category/class; Grand Champion/Best of Show – top exhibit in category/class.

McLean also spoke about sportsmanship. In 4-H, sportsmanship is defined as "Respect for animals, respect for opponents, respect for the 'game', and respect for others." Sportsmanship is for the parents and spectators, as well as the 4-H members. "Our goal is to raise blue ribbon kids!" she reminded them.

Kayla Tonasket, a 4-H member, demonstrates how to pick up and hold a rabbit.

A highlight of the workshop was when the youth practiced showmanship using stuffed rabbits and chickens. Co-mingling animals is not always the healthiest practice. By using the plush animals, 4-Hers were able to practice and demonstrate their skills with handling the different species.

If you would like more information on this or other Extension programs, please contact Linda McLean, Colville Reservation WSU Extension Director, (509) 634-2305 or Or you may contact the WSU Ferry County Extension office at, (509) 775-5225 ext. 1116 or the WSU Okanogan County Extension office (509) 422-7245. Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office. 


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