4-H enrollment increases | SteamboatToday.com

4-H enrollment increases

Numbers up as organizers plan Bunkhouse Bull Session, Town Kids Project

Blythe Terrell

Membership in Routt County 4-H has received a nudge in the flanks this year, and supporters are trying to draw even more support and interest.

Routt County 4-H Agent Jay Whaley said he expects to see a 10 percent increase in enrollment compared with last year. He’s also encouraging youths to get involved with the Bunkhouse Bull Session and the Town Kids Project.

Submissions are due Friday for the Bunkhouse Bull Session, which Friends of 4-H and the Fair is putting on April 17. Youths can win scholarship money by writing poems, short stories or songs that have an agricultural or Western heritage theme. The five finalists will perform their work at the event, and professional cowboy poets will choose winners.

The event will include a steak dinner, art displays and performances from those cowboy poets and musicians. Tickets are $30 each, or $25 if the person is buying more than one. Don Hayes, a member of the Routt County Fair Board and Friends of 4-H and the Fair, is organizing the event.

“It is to benefit 4-H events and scholarships and in addition, if there’s extra money, to help get grants for fairgrounds projects the county can’t necessarily do,” Hayes said.

Parents can take younger children to the kiddie corral at Hayden Valley Elementary School’s gymnasium. That cost is $5 per child, and Susan Merrill will entertain the children.

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Hayes encouraged people to buy Bunkhouse Bull Session tickets at the Routt County Extension Office or by calling him at 846-9233.

“Sales haven’t been real great on the tickets, so we’re hoping for some last-minute flashes,” he said. “Or we’ll sell at the door. We were hoping not to have to sell tickets at the door.”

Whaley also is working on this year’s Town Kids Project. The program allows Hayden 4-H members to raise lambs, pigs or goats at the Routt County Fairgrounds if they can’t house them elsewhere. The organizational meeting is noon Friday at the fairgrounds Exhibit Hall in Hayden.

“That was a huge success last year, and I’ve had several people show a lot of interest, so I expect people to show up Friday,” Whaley said.

Overall interest in 4-H has increased, and he said he didn’t know why. As of last week, 51 new children had joined 4-H, Whaley said. And members are raising more steers than ever, he said. At the March 1 weigh-in, they handled 56 animals from 42 youths.

“That’s as many as we’ve ever weighed in,” Whaley said. “That’s exciting. It was actually surprising to us. We figured with the cost, we wouldn’t have as many.”

If you go

What: Bunkhouse Bull Session and steak fry

When: April 17; doors open at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m.

Where: Routt County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 398 S. Poplar St., Hayden

Cost: $30 a person or $25 each for multiple tickets

Call: Don Hayes at 846-9233 or the Extension Office at 879-0825

Other: For more about 4-H, visit http://www.routtcounty4h…