4-H Lambs

 I’ve been hearing for the past 9 years how when “Our kids are old enough, Wendy, they are going to be involved in 4-H!” And my San Francisco self would reply, “Great.  What the hell is 4-H?”










Well, I found out this past weekend. We all climbed into Darrin’s truck with two dog kennels loaded in the back. We pulled onto Timothy Lane. Ok side note, moving onto Timothy Lane is now on my bucket list. This street is located in the rural section of Reno called Windy Hill. It’s lined with white horse fences you think of when someone says “Kentucky.” All the homes are on acres of land and off to the left, behind The Skagen Horse Training Center, sits a beautifully manicured ranch that talks. Literally, with the windows down, you can hear the land talking. That’s because dozens of sheep are grazing the pastures.  Baaaaa’ing at passers by.  And two of them were coming home with us on this day.

Eva and Domi are in the Leg of Lamb, Side of Beef, Slab of Bacon club (again, my San Francisco self is saying they do know there are yacht clubs in this world right???).  Today they are picking out the lambs they will raise for 20130130-075621.jpg3 months. 


They entered a small corral with about 17 lambs jetting back and forth trying desperately to avoid them. They had to pick their favorite.  So how  exactly do you pick a lamb?  4-H leaders have taught them to judge a sheep four ways.  Their backs should be straight.  You want the biggest distance between the last rib and the hip bones because that’s where the loin is.  Their backsides (I wanted to say asses but I was afraid you would all think we were now talking about donkeys) need to form a triangle.  And their legs should be straight.  Apparently bowleggedness runs rampant in lambs! 





Domi picked number 13.   Eva selected  number 17. 











Darrin then got the fun job of carrying them to the awaiting dog crates and hauling them home.  Hey!  I would have helped but I was the photographer at this rodeo!!




4-H is all about teaching kids where their food comes from… among so many other things.  They will show the lambs at the Nevada State Junior Livestock Show and sell to the highest bidder. I’m already worried about that day in May!







But for now, it’s all about having 2 lambs that will completely depend on Eva and Domi for everything. As we shut the barn door on them that night, Domi whispered in my ear, “Mom, I FINALLY have responsibility!!!”   Well HELL!!   Is that what it takes for kids now a days to realize they have responsibilities?? 2 4-H lambs??? Good luck with that everyone! 












About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.


  1. heather Aragon says:

    LOL to funny about the responsibility . The lambs are cute too!

  2. Beck says:

    My 9 year old daughter has been begging to do 4H, catch is, I can’t seem to find much info 4H here, as I am a big city girl (Albuquerque) transplanted to Reno and I know nothing about it. Are there subjects projects that involve animals where you don’t actually need to raise animals? My husband has put his foot down and said no more animals, EVER. Though Tasha is cute and sweet, her “Please daddy, I love you” probably won’t work this time. Do you have any info, or maybe direct me to somewhere where I can fine out more? Thanks a ton :)

  3. Bonnie Schwake Smith says:

    Wendy, Your kids will love 4-H. I raised pigs for 9 years growing up in Smith Valley. It was such a great experience. Look out for the project record books. I am assuming the kids nowadays still have to keep records and turn the whole book in at the Show. Weight charts, pictures, journal of work done, operating expenses, etc. It definitely makes them responsible.

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