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Idaho 4-H participants celebrate 100 years

Local 4-H fairs are underway across the state with the usual livestock competitions and arts projects, but also, some birthday cake. The youth development organization is celebrating 100 years in Idaho.

4-H started as a club in Lemhi County in 1912. Today it has more than 34,000 members. Some of them were competing in Bingham County this week and shared why they think the program has lasted so long.

Wrangling the sheep he calls “Monty,” Jayce Petersen showed off months of hard work.

“(I) work with him, make him get calm so he’s trusting me,” said Petersen.

His showmanship efforts were rewarded with a blue ribbon as the competition ring was watched over by picture-taking parents.

A packed stand caught glimpses of freshly scrubbed and blow-dryed steer, as well as glamorous goats.

“First of all, you’ve got to have a clean goat,” said Jace Gisin. “Got to trim ’em, clip ’em.”

“Feed him what he needed to be fed,” said Dallie Jones, of her preparation.

“Be his friend, not be rude or anything,” said Petersen.

The 4-H traditions have been in the Gem State for 100 years.

“I think it’s pretty amazing because my parents did it when they were little,” said Jones.

It’s definitely in Scott Nash’s DNA. His family is being recognized by the state as a “century family,” with a combined 100 years of service. Nash did 4-H for 11 years and is still involved today.

“Keeps kids busy and out of things that aren’t quite so creative,” said Nash.

When asked if it would last another 100 years, Nash said he’s sure it will.

Days are numbered, however, for “Batman” the steer and “Monty” the sheep. Petersen is taking in the precious time he has left with his friend.

After the fair, “he goes and he gets butchered,” said Petersen.

Many of the kids said their earnings go toward college or buying supplies for next year’s livestock.

The Bingham County market sale is Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. It’sat the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds. The buyer’s barbecue is at 4:30. There will be birthday cake.

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