The Clearwater County Commissioners, the Clearwater County Fairboard, and the Livestock Sale Committee are standing behind the 4-H locally with their Livestock Auction, which will take place Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. outdoors in the Lumberjack Arena (next to the Barn).

A virtual, online auction will also be available for buyers who do not attend the live auction. This online auction will run simultaneously with the live auction. If the live auction is cancelled for any reason, the online auction will become the only sale option for our 4-H members. The Livestock Sale Committee is committed to supporting our 4-H members either way! Buyer information will be announced in the coming weeks.

Melanie Barrett, from the Fairboard, tells us, “On behalf of Clearwater County Fairboard, we are very proud to have 4-H members become leaders and help out during Fair days. Allen has been our night watchman during Fair days in the barn full of animals.”

“Clearwater County Fairboard oversees any building repairs, remodeling, and maintenance for both the exhibit building and the barn. Any senior project(s) brought to the attention of the 4H Extention Officer Erin Rogers,  are brought before the board during our monthly meeting. We may ask to have the senior attend the meeting to explain his/her goal in giving back.”

“The Fairboard has appreciated many new projects in the barn this past year. New shelves have been put into the record book area, new panel gates that function better during Fair days are added, along with newer easy-access ramps for livestock animals entering the building.”

“A world of thanks to the many who give of their time to help purchase 4-H projects. We are truly blessed by such a giving community.”

The Livestock Sale Committee is hosting this year’s event outdoors to allow for social distancing and safety protocols will be in place, such as handwashing stations.

The Fairboard appreciates those who have spent much time participating in 4-H, who are willing to become leaders in helping youth move forward in wholesome, life enhancing projects.

4-H coordinators are always looking for qualified leaders! The standard for becoming qualified is to sign up in 4HOnline, take annual Protecting Minors Training, and pass a background check.

One such leader is former 4-H participant, Allen Rowan. Beginning at the age of five, and continuing until the age of 18, Allen is well qualified to encourage the youth of this area in a pursuit of better lives. He believes 4-H provides wholesome education and social participation in many skill areas. His goal is to give back to the 4-H programs and youth of our area the privileges he received while growing up.

4-H has been a very integral part of Allen’s family as a third generation participant, beginning with his grandmother and continuing on with his mother, Eileen Rowan, who inspired him all through his growing years in the programs. All combined his family has over 300 hours in 4-H participation and right at 2000 hours of community service.

He is continuing to be a part of 4-H as he moves into leadership. His qualifications are well rounded with the projects he participated in such as large animals (horses, goats, dairy goat, sheep, and cow) and many more.

At one point he asked his mother how he could promote 4-H. She told him, “You could found a club.” So he did! It was called ‘The Orofino Ambassador’s Program’, or the “Teen Builders Club’ to help promote 4-H and get kids interested. Joe Stanley came in and helped get it going as well as Allen’s sister, Alyssa. They started with six kids and ended up with 30. They did dances and several other activities on the Apocalypse theme for two or three years.

One of his crowning memories was his Market Lamb project. He remembers doing the ‘Round Robin’ where the youth were required to show one other’s animals. He won Grand Championship. Everything went well until he had to do the swine. Of that experience, he said, “I know nothing about swine and the pig was tired and done with showing when I got to it. It refused to move!”

One of Allen’s favorite programs is called Robotics, which he did for two to three years. He did one year as a part of the mentorship program connected with Robotics.

Allen’s mother started with him in the program early on when he expressed interest.

Ken Hengen then stepped up to the plate and is currently leader of Robotics in our area. He has worked steadily to build the program up.

Robotics have become very popular in Clearwater area as Robotics and National Geographic have teamed up to bring cutting edge content to students in 4-H clubs, programs and summer camps. Using hands-on STEM activities and videos, 4-Her’s will learn about robots, engineering, problem solving and creative thinking. The activities can be used separately, or in tandem with National Geographics field, ROBOTS 3D.

Clearwater region has a lot to offer with many programs already in place, including, Market Animal (Swine, Beef, Lamb), Breeding Projects (Swine, Beef, Lamb, Goat), Poultry, Rabbit, Cavvy (Guinea Pigs), Dog, Cat, Horse/Gymkhana/Working Ranch Horse/Pleasure Trail, Small Animals (Hampster, Hedgehog, etc.) Robotics Program (all ages for competition and local camps), Aerospace (Model Airplanes, Model Rockets), Fitness (Basketball, Soccer), Bicycle, Babysitting, Cooking/Baking, Candy Making, Leathercraft, Hiking/Camping/Backpacking/Survival, Fishing, Veterinary Science, Art/Crafts, Photography, Gardening, Health, Leadership, Know Your Government, Public Speaking, Archery (looking for a place to safely shoot with youth), Sewing/Quilting (needs leader), Geology, Entomology, Forestry, Food Preservation, Small Engines (needs leader), and Self-Determined (any project not listed). There are loads of others. These are the ones that are most popular in our area.

The Self-Determined project is very unique. If a young person has an interest in a new subject not currently listed and into their system of 4-H they can help it get started by finding a qualified leader and a couple of other youths interested in it. The program is then developed and put into 4-H program list for others down the road.

For children who cannot, through various circumstances, participate in some of the programs, there are more to choose from, or this ‘self-determined project’ opportunity is offered to start something new. This allows ingenuity and variety, not only for those who start a new program, but for future youth who become interested.

Allen mentioned three special programs of 4-H that can be pursued (and there are others). These special programs require persistence and filling out quite a bit of paperwork, but, he said they were well worth it and a great experience for growth.

One is the National 4-H Congress which is held in Alanta, GA. It is a five-day premiere nation-wide event for 4-H’ers to network with others from around the country, Canada and Puerto Rico. While at Congress, 4-H’ers engage in leadership, citizenship, global awareness and inclusion.

The National Citizenship Washington Focus takes place in Washington, D.C., and is an opportunity for 4-H’ers to learn how to be citizen leaders and make a difference in their communities as well as building new and lasting relationships. Idaho had a team go to this during Allen’s stint in 4-H and, although it was a small group from Idaho who got to go, they were teamed up with another small team for the experience.

4-H National Dairy Conference is in Madison, WI. Allen took part in this with his Nubian dairy goat and learned cheese making.

Currently there is a need for an available area suitable for archery. 4-H has a qualified teacher, certified and ready and youths who are interested. What is lacking is an area which is able to have safe spacing and insurance coverage.

If anyone knows who can provide such a place this would be an awesome opportunity for facilitating youth. You can contact Erin Rodgers, 4-H Coordinator, at 208-476-4434 if you know, or have a place, to facilitate this need.

Allen has this to say to future youth, “I highly recommend parents to bring their youth, from an early age, to participate in 4-H. The leaders in this area are working to provide safe ways, in spite of covid, to safely keep youth encouraged and going forward.”

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