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Youth in Antelope County are gaining another gateway into 4-H thanks to the creation of a new club earlier this year.
Sandy Spurs, a 4-H club created by Kara Pelster, officially started as a club in April of 2018.
Since its creation, the club has hosted a bucket calf clinic/show and has been involved in multiple community service projects and showing in the fair.
Pelster said she started the club because she saw the kids working together and knew the benefi ts of them being in a club.
“I decided to form a club because most of the children were already doing projects together and I feel that children that are involved in 4-H can gain so much more by being in a club. Learning from others, doing the community service, being a part of something, gaining self confidence...”
After its creation in April, the club elected it’s executive council.
Officers for the club are president, Lucille Koinzan; vice president, Jacob Henery; treasurer, Isaac Hemenway; secretary, Lynae Koinzan and news reporter, Sam Hemenway.
Besides the election of officers, Pelster said that they have also gotten members involved in numerous activities to help the kids be accustomed to 4-H.
“We have gone through the election of officers, started parliamentary procedure in our meetings,” she said. “We have had the clinic and we have done some community service around the fairgrounds. We were also in the Fourth of July Parade.”
In June, Sandy Spurs hosted a bucket calf clinic/show at the Antelope County Fairgrounds in Neligh.
Participants were instructed on the proper techniques for showing bucket calves and participated in a show to test their learning before competing in the fair.
According to Pelster, many of the kids may have had prior knowledge from their parents showing when they were younger, but needed a refresher before showing in the fair.
“Many of those children, they might have had parents who showed, but it has been a long time,” she said. “I felt that bucket calves are the future of the beef showing industry, and sometimes the children don’t know how to show, don’t know how to show properly or the techniques.”
Pelster said that Antelope County has an impressive amount of bucket calves.
“Antelope County has a tremendous amount of bucket calves. I think last year there were between 50 to 60 (bucket calves), and I would assume the same this year.”
Because of the amount of bucket calves in the county and the lack of knowledge on showing them, Pelster said the club decided to host the clinic.
“As a group, we decided to hold a clinic for the educational component of it and then do a show following the clinic to let the kids practice what they had learned that morning,” she said.
According to Pelster, 25 participants were involved in the clinic/show, and the group used the event as a fundraiser for their club.
She went on to say that the knowledge gained at the clinic and other activities was evident at the fair and that she is in awe of their enthusiasm and pride in the club.
“They did exceptional,” Pelster said. “It’s been amazing to see how they have come together as a group and the pride that they have to be together and hold relationships. Many of the youth, they knew each other, but they have really formed a closeness and a bond within the group. Their enthusiasm and their dedication is outstanding.”
She said that, although the members might not have done as well as they had thought, their excitement did not drop.
“All of them had quite a few projects, quite a few different animals… those animals might not have done as well as they had thought, but they are dedicated and continue to show and work with them. I never saw anyone complaining.”
The club plans to continue working on projects as a group throughout the year and hopes to tour agriculture businesses around Antelope County in the near future. Pelster said that she hopes that club will continue to grow.
“I hope that we are self sustaining and the we are not just here for a year. I hope we continue to grow and branch out and challenge the youth in things they haven’t been a part of before.”