Kids ready animals for livestock show and auction
Christy Works, 12, spent the last two years raising a dairy heifer as part of her 4-H project. But last Saturday night, the cow died while giving birth.
Undeterred, Christy plans to continue her project with the week-old calf.
“I’m really sad, but I want to continue with it,” she said. “It was a lot of fun for me while I was raising it.”
Christy plans to breed her animal in a couple of years and, once it calves, she will keep the calf and sell the cow to a dairy farm.
Without the mother cow, Christy is raising the new heifer calf on a bottle.
“It’s really cool to watch her drink the milk,” she said.
Her mother, Marena Works, supports her daughter’s decision to carry on with the project and said working with the animals teaches children important lessons.
“It teaches them respect for life and the reality of death,” Works said. “They develop a lot of sensitivities.”
She and her husband Roger Works have led the livestock 4-H club in Carson City for about five years.
“I love it,” she said. “I love the animals and the kids. I’m hooked.”
The nearly 20 members of the club from Dayton, Carson City and Washoe Valley are preparing their animals and record books for the annual Nevada Junior Livestock Show and Auction at the Livestock Events Center in Reno from May 3 to May 5.
For the first two days, participants will show their animals, and the last day they will sell their animals to private and corporate bidders.
Hannah Shaw, 10, raised and sold a lamb last year and plans to sell her second lamb, Porky, at this year’s auction.
“It’s kind of sad when you get rid of them,” she said. “This one will be harder than last years because I like it better.”
But she said working with the animals is worth the pain in the end.
“I like the lambs,” she said. “They like a lot of attention — this one likes to eat a lot.”
Danny Works, 14, used to raise lambs but has since switched to swine.
He will show and sell his seventh pig, Blizzy, this year.
“It’s fun showing them,” he said. “They have lots of spirit.”
It’s not only the animals that appeal to 4-Hers.
“I have fun being with everybody else in the club,” sad Ann Sinnott, 12. “We have fund-raisers and bake sales and stuff. I just like socializing with everyone.”
4-H leaders also emphasized that the animals are raised on the best feed with optimal care and produce high quality meat.
“Plus it’s a huge tax write-off,” said parent Molly Sinnott. “Whether it’s business or personal buyer, it’s a big tax benefit.”
What: Nevada Junior Livestock Show and Auction
Where: Livestock Events Center, Reno
When: May 3-5