Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Yesterday in the evening the girls attended their first meeting of 4-H.  They have been excitedly awaiting this day for awhile.  In California we had chickens that were good layers, but since they were a bit older when we first got them they were never ones that let you hold them or care for them more than feeding or when we had to chase them down to clip their wings  .

The 4-H is a program that began at the turn of the century as a means of teaching animal care skills,
home skills like sewing, electrical and cooking.  It has citizenship courses along with public speaking programs.  It had been a part of public school programs until the 1960's when it went to an all volunteer, extra curricular program.  Because of the reduction of farm land the program has changed to more domestic animals or centers that can still teach as well as house the various farm animals that are a part of the particular program.  Some of these include cows, goats, swine, poultry, rabbits and horses.  The one that is closest to us includes rabbits, chickens, carrier pigeons and pigs.  In addition they are growing sugarcane and have a garden for animal feed and those involved in the program.

Meeting area

Pig enclosure

The kids learn the care and feeding of these animals and when you decide what area your child wants to specialize in they will eventually have their own animal that they will be responsible for and learn how to show at the county fair.  If your property is designated agricultural like ours is you can keep the animals at home or you have the option of keeping your animals at this 4-H facility. In order to show your animal you have to have had it for 6 months, and since we haven't even been here that long we won't be eligible this year to show at the fair, but it will be fun for the girls to participate and be able to experience there fellow 4-H'ers showing their  Our girls will probably have chickens, since that is what we plan to add to our property.  This time around they can start by helping with the chickens that are already at the 4-H property, then when we get our chicken area and coop built, they can get them as chicks so they can learn to handle them from the very beginning and the chicks will be used to being handled and easier to care for as they get older.

Gene Gregory letting the girls pet a rabbit and answering their questions

The rabbit area

As part of  the program the girls will be exposed to the care and feeding of the other animals that are at the facility since each family has one day a week, every other month to take care of the feed and watering duty for the animals kept here. It's a good way to get started and ease their way into this responsibility.

The 4-H Pledge recited after the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag at the beginning of each meeting.

Both girls are really hoping to build some relationships here with kids they'll have similar interests in common with.  It should be a good learning experience, and in this forum communication is a key component since the kids have to explain about their animals and in preparation for the fair have to learn public speaking skills as they participate.  So this program will be a part of our homeschooling, that will incorporate part of their science and social studies.

Girls before we left for our meeting, sporting the old hats of mine I gave them for playing dress ups.



  1. Not heard of it before but sounds really interesting. Can see my kids liking something like this.

    1. I think your kids would like a program like this too. It's fun and a great learning experience.

  2. Hi Lynda...Thanks for visiting my Simply Susan blog. How neat to find another Florida gardener who also has daughters from China. Your two daughters are adorable. My daughter loves animals but I've never thought of having her participate in 4-H. I'm definitely going to look into it. My daughter is from Jiangxi Provence. Much has changed in China since we traveled there 11 years ago. Life seems to have improved for them greatly. I look forward to following your blog.

  3. Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by. So much has changed. We were there in 2005 for Hannah and when we returned in 2011 for Lauren could not believe the changes!! From people who are currently adopting as I see their posts on a Facebook group I can tell it's all so much different and certainly more crowded in the cities we had toured or been to in the past. I would really love as my girls get older to take them on a heritage tour to their provinces and to sight see around areas I've longed to visit. Something to look forward to. You are more than welcome to check out our doings anytime and I will be checking in on your blog as well!!