Norfolk 4-H Rabbit Club

As promised, this week on 4-H Folklore we have Ariana’s story about her experience at the Norfolk 4-H Rabbit Club. Ariana learned tons about rabbits, and so did I from reading her story!
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Norfolk 4-H Rabbit Club
By Ariana Tersteege

Norfolk 4-H Rabbit Club is run by Wendy Lamb at her farm in Lindoch, ON. It is an agility/showmanship club for rabbits. We are taught how to properly do rabbit agility, showing of rabbits, grooming and cleaning rabbits and the welfare of rabbits. We have a club meeting once a month on a Thursday.

For agility, Wendy teaches us how to get our rabbits to go over jumps, through tunnels, and weave through pegs. She also teaches us how to keep our rabbits healthy. She has taught me that I must clean their cages once a week and feed them every day. She has also taught me which vegetables I can and cannot feed them. For example, I have learned that you cannot feed them anything from the cabbage family because it will create gas and rabbits are unable to release gas. Also it is good to treat your bunny to only a small amount of fruits and vegetables a day.

Wendy has also taught us about many breeds of rabbits, such as Holland Lop, Netherland Dwarf, Lionhead, and Flemish Giant. I have also learned many different colourings of rabbits such as blue chinchilla, otter, agouti, black steel, tortoiseshell, broken, Californian, castor, cinnamon, chocolate, cream, fawn, pearl, grey, lilac, orange, red, sable, sandy, seal, self group, shaded group, ticking, tortoise, and many more. During that process I have learned that my rabbit is a blue Holland Lop.

I have learned how to show my rabbit and about showmanship. We must bathe our rabbits, groom them, and trim their toe nails before showing them. If we accidently cut one of their nails too far, we have been taught to put the nail in baking soda to stop the bleeding. I have learned that you have to wear proper showing clothes and for showing a rabbit you have to wear a white top and black pants. To start the proper showing process, you must introduce yourself and your rabbit to the judge. To show you rabbit you have to describe each side of the rabbit, features and the condition they are in. For example: “My rabbit’s ears are nice and clean and free of debris. It is also not tattooed”. To end the showing, you repeat your introduction. You must also thank your judge or judges. I have also learned that you are judged out of a hundred points. Wendy’s daughter, Chrissy, has helped a lot of the members with their showmanship.

Wendy makes sure we do public speaking at every meeting. She makes it fun and easy to do. Wendy makes the club fun, yet we learn a lot about our rabbits and what to do with them. I think she is a very good leader because she knows the topic and she makes the club fun to attend. I have learned everything I know about rabbits from her. She is a good role model because she is a kind person and loves animals.

Ariana is a junior Norfolk 4-H member. She has been in 4-H for two years and has already completed 10 projects including Pie Please, Archery and Goat. 

Oh, the Lessons You’ll Learn

The Amber Underwood Memorial News Competition >, supported by the Amber Underwood Memorial Endowment Fund, is an opportunity for 4-H members to showcase their writing and journalism skills. Members create a 500 word essay that shares a 4-H program/event, 4-H success story, current agricultural or rural community concern, or perhaps a stimulating conversation with a community leader.

The caliber of pieces that comes through the door was outstanding! 4-H Ontario definitely has some fantastic writers in our midst. This year, the senior winner for the competition was Jackie Shaw, and the junior winner was Ariana Tersteege. Both members wrote great stories sharing their experience in 4-H clubs and what it taught them.

This week I would like to share Jackie’s winning entry. Stay tuned next week to read Ariana’s story!

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Oh The Lesson’s You’ll Learn
By Jackie Shaw

The motto of 4-H is “Learn to do by Doing” however, I have realized that there are so many more lessons to learn by participating in the 4-H program. I was a member of the Damascus Woodworking Club this past spring and in one meeting there were a multitude of life lessons to be acquired.

The first lesson that I learned was that of teamwork. During this meeting club members were constructing birdhouses. There was only one nail-gun and both my younger sister and I needed to nail the shingles to our houses. We realized that if we worked together we could get the job done in a fraction of the time as we could have if we had worked individually. While one of us positioned the shingle on our roof the other would nail their shingle on and hand over the nail gun. This example of teamwork saved us time.

Overcoming my fears was lesson number two. At first I was very apprehensive about using the power saws to cut the wood for my birdhouse. However, after one of the leaders, Janice Walsh, reminded me of the 4-H motto I decided to give it a try—slowly. When I realized that I did not cut off any fingers I began to feel more comfortable around the tools and by the end of the meeting I was using them with ease.

The third lesson learned was that it is okay to ask for help when you need it. I was having a lot of trouble using the drill press to make an entry hole for the birdhouse. At first I did not want to ask for help because I thought I would be able to figure it out on my own. A younger member, however, saw my plight and offered his help. After I accepted, I realized that without his help I probably would not have been able to complete the task. Sometimes in life we don’t ask for assistance when we need it; this experience reminded me that asking for help is not a bad thing.

The final lesson to be learned was that it is important to be involved in the local community. The birdhouses that were constructed during the meeting were placed on the Arthur Walking Trail. This meant that not only would the birds be able to appreciate out efforts, but the whole community would be able to see the birdhouses when walking on the trail.

Overall, in the two hours of this meeting I was shown that one can learn many things that will be useful in a multitude of situations in life. From the benefits of teamwork, to asking for help when we need it, and having a sense of community spirit, 4-H has taught valuable lessons not only to the members of the Damascus Woodworking Club, but also to thousands of members worldwide. The most important lesson that will stay with me for the rest of my life however is that everyone can “Learn to do by Doing”.

Jackie Shaw is a senior Wellington 4-H member.  Jackie has completed over 30 projects including Sewing, Pizza and Scrapbooking.