Leicester Longwool Sheep

Baltimore County 4-H wanted to catch up with Lynne Thomas a senior 4-H’er in the Baldwin 4-H Club to talk to her about her Leicester (pronounced lester) Longwool Sheep. After seeing Lynne in the ring showing her sheep we wanted to know more about how she acquired her, why she picked this breed and what plans did she have with her.

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Lynne showing Melody at the Baltimore County 4-H Fair.

Lynne shared the history of this breed, and that was in part what attracted her to this beautiful animal. It seems that a breeder by the name of Robert Bakewell around 1755 wanted to improve livestock breeds, so he used modern selection techniques to crossbreed an animal that was a large, slow-growing animal into one that grew more quickly for market and had a much better fleece. Word quickly spread from England to the rest of Europe and North America that the Leicester Longwool was an excellent animal to add to your herd. George Washington, upon hearing about the breed added it to his flock.

In America, this breed was used to crossbreed with native stocks during the 1800s, but soon the strain lost popularity and nearly became extinct by 1930. But then in 1990, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation began to bring the Leicester Longwool Sheep back. The numbers have been slowly growing. It is still a rare breed globally.

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Seen in the ring are Cadence and Baritone.

Lynne discovered the breed at the Sheep and Wool Festival in 2016 through the Youth Conservationist Program. She applied to the program by completing an essay they require and recommendations from her teachers and 4-H mentors. She was accepted, and she was the proud owner of Melody her first Leicester Longwool sheep. Lynne has shown her in the County Fair, the Hereford Jr. Farm Fair and others. Additionally, Lynne enjoys educating the public about the genetics behind this beautiful breed. Details like its strong bloodline, and that it produces the best quality fleece and the history of how they came to be here in the US.

In addition, to showing Melody, she has also bred her with Baritone who is of natural color. They produced a set of twins named Cadence (a boy) and Symphony (a girl). Their names come from Lynne’s natural love of music and one of the other talents that she has of playing the clarinet. This summer Lynne showed all four animals at the Baltimore County 4-H Fair.

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Symphony takes her debut at the Baltimore County 4-H Fair.

Some of the characteristics of the wool are that it is easy to spin and makes for soft scarves, hats, gloves, and sweaters. One of the more unique items that the wool is used for is doll hair since the fleece has a natural curl and is long. It can grow up to 14 inches. The coat is ideal for doll hair.

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Closeup of the Leicester Longwool fleece.

As part of Lynne’s high school education, she used her sheep project for her Supervised Agricultural Experience. In her sophomore year Lynne tracked the rate of gain of Melody. Then in her junior year, she followed several other breeds and compared them to the rate of gain of the Leicester Longwool.

When asked what’s next Lynne said she would love to learn to spin the wool from her sheep and create some wonderful garments or accessories from this extraordinary breed. She plans to continue educating the public about this breed and wants to encourage other youth to get involved with animal conservation. We look forward to seeing what comes next.

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Jammin’ at Horse Jamboree

By  Kelsey Condon, Junior 4H’er, Chestnut Ridge & Woodstock Equine 4H Clubs

Jamboree fun.jpgDuring the first weekend of July, I attended the 2018 Maryland 4-H Horse Jamboree, hosted by Calvert County and held at the Patuxent River 4-H Center in Upper Marlboro.  I had never been to Horse Jamboree, and was excited to pack my bags for what promised to be a fun, horsey-filled weekend!

When we arrived, we were given cabin assignments along with some pretty cool goodies, like a T-shirt and water bottle.  The cabin was a big room filled with about 10 sets of bunkbeds.  We bunked with some Carroll County 4-H’ers and we all claimed our spots (top bunk for me)!  I brought a few projects to enter into the arts & crafts competition, and some other friends brought toy horses for the model horse competition.

The organizers kept us busy all weekend with exciting games, fun horsey-crafts, and Jamboree 2group.jpgsome pretty stiff competitions.  I was shocked to find out that I won the Reserve Grand Champion ribbon for the Horse Skill-A-Thon Competition.  It’s a contest that tests your knowledge of all things equine, from breeds, to markings, to tack and parasites (gross)!  During the weekend, public speaking competitions were also held.  I didn’t participate, but my friend and fellow Baltimore County 4-H’er, Carolyn Melody received Intermediate Reserve Grand Champion for her demonstration called, “What’s Behind Those Blinders?” It was a speech all about a horse’s eye.

Jamboree Awards Ceremony.jpgIn addition to showcasing our horsey-knowledge, we also learned new things.  We were taught how to take an X-ray of a horse’s leg and jaw, and learned about the parts of the hoof and skull.  Later that afternoon, we all relaxed in the shade, eating watermelon, while watching a demonstration on driving horse-drawn carriages.  Chase, a chestnut Morgan horse stole the show, and then fell asleep during the Q&A session.

The food was great and the outside movie on Saturday night was awesome, but the BEST part of the weekend happened Sunday morning when each team got their own REAL PONY to groom and decorate with glitter!  We paraded our ponies around the ring for a pony fashion show, and got to enjoy everyone’s creativity.

I very much enjoyed Horse Jamboree, and I hope that there will be more campers from Baltimore County next year!Jamboree carriage.jpg

 

Liberty 4-H Club Gets Ready for Fair Season

by Savannah Williams
girlJune 8, 2018
Photos by Peyton Jaeger

Well, the Liberty 4-H Club enjoyed a night at 4-H, with Bird-houses,  Tie-dye, String art…Whew! That’s A LOT of FUN stuff.

The Clovers built bird-houses and added a bottom that spins upside-down  so they can clean out the house for birds, once they move out! Also, the Clovers learned All about Bluebirds (about washingtheir environment and diet and more)!

Everyone enjoys color, don’t they? Well, the Juniors and Intermediates Tie-dyed some white shirts, and they look AMAZING! A lot of people did cool designs and some original!

The Seniors did cool String art. Some people did horses and deer skulls, and some did cow skulls! They had fun looping and stretching the strings from nail to nail. string art

At the end, we all had snacks such as: Strawberry-short cakes, brownies and C-C Cookies! We all enjoyed our night at 4-H.
Good luck at the county and State fair.

AgCenter Farm Tour Series!

Vernelle Mitchell HawkinsSpring is trying hard to come to Baltimore County.  We have seen weather that is sometimes hot and balmy or cold and blistery in the same week. These weather issues have not stopped the AgCenter Farm Tour Series! The AgCenter Farm Tour Series is a partnership program between University of Maryland Extension/4-H and Maryland Agricultural Resource Center (MARC). Groups from local schools and community organizations visit the AgCenter for a customized agricultural experience. I am pretty excited about this new program series and will be sharing highlights. Tell a friend, neighbor or co-worker that the AgCenter Farm Tour Series is well underway!

Pine Grove Visit

We started the season with a group of Pre-K students who came to visit from Pine Grove Elementary School. During their visit we learned about the importance of bees, visited the children’s garden to see how plants “wake up” from winter, and said “Hello” to the resident sheep and goats on campus. The students collected nature samples during the hike (while singing a catchy hiking tune) that they used to make rubbings. We even stopped at the beautiful Maple tree grove and discussed how yummy syrup comes from trees.  Quote of the Day – “The chicks look so fluffy!”

Thank you for coming Pine Grove!

2018 Champion Chow Food Challenge

Reported by 4-H’ers Colby, Mikayla and Della

The Champion Chow Food Challenge is a program for 4-H youth ages 5-18 to compete in creating a themed menu, a place setting and preparing one food item from their menu. They meet with judges either as a team or as individuals and answer a range of questions about how and why they selected the menu and food they prepared. They are judged on their menu. How well was it nutritionally planned, texture contrast, flavor contrast, suitable for age, youth’s verbal nutrition knowledge, was the recipe correctly written, eye appeal, flavor, properly cooked, seasoning, complexity, overall neatness, proper placement of utensils, attractive, decorations, speaks distinctly and correctly, shows enthusiasm and sincerity and appears neat and poised.

This year’s Champion Chow Food Challenge competition had a full house of participants and family members. This program has grown by 75% over the last 8 years.

 

During this year’s competition 4-H’ers who were either a reporter for their club or a photographer gathered questions and answers from their peers. The following is the result of their investigation. Many thanks to all who contributed to this post.

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Colby is an 8 year old 4-H’er in the Chestnut Ridge 4-H Club. He is the club photographer. Colby eagerly took many photos of all of the place settings and food that was made.  Colby interviewed Jake also from Chestnut Ridge 4-H Club and he is 8 years old.

Q: Have you done this event before?

A: No, this is my first time.

Q: What did you make?

A: Beef tenderloin

Q: What was your inspiration?

A: Living on a farm, and playing in the backyard.

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Next Colby interviewed Kailyn who is 12 years old and in the Chestnut Ridge 4-H Club as well.

Q: Have you done this event before?

A: Yes, about five times.

Q: What was your favorite of your themes?

A: Making patterns

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Lastly Colby spoke with Shelby. She is 11 years old and is a member of Chestnut Ridge Club.

Q: What was your inspiration for your food?

A: Charlotte’s sister’s birthday.

Q: What was the hardest part of making your cake?

A: Keeping the ingredients in the bowl.

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Mikayla is the Baltimore County 4-H Dairy Goat Club reporter. She is 10 years old and she meticulously interviewed several people. First, she spoke with Kiera from the Sparks 4-H Club.

Q: What’s your theme and why did you choose it?

A: My theme is a traditional Irish dinner.

Q: What did you make as your dish?

A: Roasted salmon with butter sauce

Q: What is your favorite part of your setting?

A: The centerpiece

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Mikayla also interviewed Grace who is a member of the Greater Loch Raven 4-H Club and she is 11 years old.

Q: What’s your theme and why did you choose it?

A: The theme is summer picnic. I like to have summer picnics.

Q: What were the challenges you had with making your dish?

A: I ran out of mustard a lot. Each steak test cooked differently and I didn’t know how long to cook it.

Q: What is your favorite part of your setting?

A: The tablecloth

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Lastly, Della a 7 year old from the Greater Loch Raven 4-H Club who strategically interviewed several people starting with Niamh who is a member of the Sparks 4-H Club.

Q: Why did you make your dish?

A: I made Irish Nachos because I had them at the Stihl after dancing and I learned to make them.

 

Della interviewed Kailyn from the Chestnut Ridge 4-H Club.

Q: What did you make?

A: I made fruit kabobs.

Q: Why did you make it?

A: Peeps are a good candy.

Q: Where did you find your recipe?

A: On Pinterest

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Then finally Della interviewed 7 year old Alexandra from Liberty 4-H.

Q: What did you make?

A: Baked cinnamon chips with applesauce.

Q: Where did you find your recipe?

A: It is from a princess cookbook I got at Christmas.

 

 

 

 

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. What does this mean to us in youth development? This means that the month of March has been designated as a time to reflect on the contributions that women have made to society. In the case of 4-H it means recognizing some women who made an important mark on the lives of youth. Did you know?

  • Jessie Field Shambaugh is known as the “Mother of 4-H”? JessieFieldShambaugh_2BF122A020B4BShe was a teacher who started after-school clubs in 1901 in Page County Iowa. She is also credited with creating the first clover pin with 3 leaves to represent “head,” “hands” and “heart”. The fourth leaf was added later to represent “health”.
  • During World War II the number of girls in 4-H clothing projects increased to 500,000 members? This is because the clubs were making clothes and supplies for the troops who were fighting overseas.
  • Peggy Whitson, is a NASA Mission Commander 4-H alumni. 330px-Peggy_WhitsonShe received her doctorate degree in biochemistry from Rice University, became a biochemistry researcher, NASA astronaut and former NASA Chief Astronaut. Whitson is NASA’s most experienced female astronaut, with just over 376 days in space. She also has performed a total of six career spacewalks, adding up to 39 hours and 46 minutes.

Liberty 4-H Club

Savannah Williams, Reporter
Peyton Jaeger, Photographer

March 9, 2018

Liberty 1Wow! Let me paint a picture of our night at the Liberty 4-H club, where there was a lot of fun cooking! We had a meeting to start off the night talking about the many events that are coming up. We also got to talk about who had attended some of the recent events.

The clovers had a BLAST learning about Aerospace! They enjoyed liberty 2making paper rockets and shooting them in a friendly competition.

The Juniors & Intermediates ShamROCKED, making chimes out of various sized flower pots! They painted each and worked with each other to tie string between the pots. This project ended up as themed chimes for the St. Patrick Day holiday!

The Seniors pushed their cooking skills to the limits for their TLiberty 3op Chef competition! They all made a finger food or an appetizer, with vegetables as the main ingredient. Some of the items made were Spinach Cheese dip, an original recipe called “My Everyday Breakfast”, Tea Sandwiches and vegetable roll-ups.