Laurel Pollock and Rikki Burns concentrate on keeping their horses together as they compete in the Ribbon Race at the Games Show in New Castle.

Amber Robinson
Contributing writer

Craig County 4-H has been extremely busy this spring with competitions and camps. The Misty Mountain Mane-iacs have been occupied finishing up the spring contests and preparing for the State 4-H Horse Show in September.


Claire Deplazes and Laurel Pollock plan to take their horses to compete in the show and so they have attended a qualifying show to fulfill that requirement. Laurel finished up the spring competitions by participating in the Area Hippology and Horse Judging Contest held at Lord Botetourt High School. She earned the highest individual score for the quiz portion, first for identification, and second in judging.

She was also the highest placing individual Senior overall. In early June the Misty Mountain Mane-iacs hosted a fun Games Show at the Craig County Fairgrounds. It was a beautiful Saturday for a ride and the four participating riders had a lot of fun and earned some great prizes. Laurel followed up this fun by spending four days at 4-H Congress on the campus of Virginia Tech. She said that she enjoyed her time there and looks forward to going again next year with hopefully a larger group of youth from Craig. The Craig County 4-H Agent also participated in 4-H Congress by providing supervision for one night and co-teaching a Great Summer Showcase Workshop.

The workshop was entitled “Survivor: College” and focused on giving youth the opportunity to practice life skills in real settings while still mixing in a good dose of fun. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants were asked if the workshop had made them more confident with doing several tasks. Of the 17 participants, 14 were more confident making a formal appointment, 16 with speaking with people in positions of power or authority, 17 with navigating VT campus, 14 with speaking with strangers, 17 with locating information they need to complete a task, 12 with reading and using a map, and 6 with using Google drive.

The Craig County Livestock Club members have also been diligently training sheep and competing at shows. Morgan Beane and Claire Deplazes represented Craig County at the first show of the season, the Roanoke Area Junior Livestock Show. Morgan and Claire both competed in Senior Sheep Showmanship where they placed sixth and seventh respectively. Both girls had lambs that placed very well throughout the day with Morgan bring home two second place finishes with her market lambs and Claire’s lamb earning a third place ribbon.

Claire also exhibited her commercial ewe who finished second in her class. The Livestock Club continued their adventures locally with a tour of Man in the Moon Alpacas and the donkey rescue, both located on John’s Creek. Club members learned about alpaca care and showing and were able to participate in a mock show. Across the street at the donkey rescue they learned about peacocks, pot belly pigs, and of course donkeys.

Everyone greatly enjoyed being able to interact with these different species. A big thank you to Man in the Moon Alpacas and Darlene Waldin for hosting the group and making this tour possible! It was back to business the following weekend with an all-day Advanced Showmanship Camp for the members. Club members and their sheep participated in this camp to refine their skills and build their stamina for competing in sheep showmanship. Members also gained more insight and instruction about feeding and shearing. Jenna Bostic, Morgan Beane, Mason Huffman, Ashlyn Keen, and Claire Deplazes were able to put their new knowledge to the test at the Virginia Sheep and Goat Symposium at Virginia Tech.

The competition of both youth and animals was tough. Morgan and Jenna were both pulled from the first heat of Intermediate Sheep Showmanship to come back and compete in the final round. Morgan finished ninth and Jenna was tenth. The group placed fairly well with their black-faced commercial ewes. Claire’s ewes earned a first, third, and seventh place finishes.

Mason picked up a third place and Morgan won a fourth and a sixth place finish. In the market lamb classes, Jenna brought home a second place with her white-face market lamb. Claire finished with two fifth and one sixth place in the black-face classes. Mason’s black-face market lambs finished fourth and sixth while Ashlyn earned a fifth and seventh. Jenna’s black-faced lambs brought home a sixth and seventh and Morgan had two fifth place finishes. Club members will be showing throughout the summer at various county fairs so be sure to try to see them at least once!

Morgan Beane, Maggie Huffman, Mason Huffman, Amber Robinson (back), Jenna Bostic, and Carson Messick enjoyed being hands-on with the alpacas and participating in a mock show.

Craig County and Giles County 4-H partnered to conduct a week-long day camp called “Appalachian Expedition”. Five youth from Craig and four from Giles were able to participate. Youth learned about hiking safety, backpacking, topography maps, invasive species, animal identification, tree identification, fire starting, and were able to participate in hikes, creek exploration, laser tag, and bowling. The youth enjoyed the hands-on activities and being active. Parents reported that youth were excited about what they learned and appreciated the program.

Interest in the Shooting Club is growing and members are continuing their weekly practices through the summer. It has been difficult due to the frequent evening storms but they continue to press on. A couple of members plan to participate in the Shooting Education Camp at Holiday Lake 4-H Center in August. The club will continue their practices and plans to compete at the State 4-H Shoot in September.

The club would like to thank the Friends of the NRA for their generous grant support of the Shooting Education program. This grant provides much of the supplies and equipment used by club members. Through this support, members are able to be better competitors by not having to share and readjust equipment and the grant supplies greatly help with the cost of the program so the club can continue and cost will not be a prohibitive factor.

Final preparations are being made for Junior 4-H Camp. Teen Counselors participated in Teen Training and have continued to hold regular meetings to prepare for camp. Camp, as always, promises to be a great experience full of fun and learning.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Source link