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4-H; 'It brings us together'
Glenn County 4-H members, with rakes and shovels in hand, converged on the fairgrounds in Orland on Saturday to clean mostly the stalls and pens associated with the annual livestock exhibit.
Across town, sewers and quilters showed off their projects to the public.
Spring is a busy time for more than 300 youth in program, and most are gearing up for one of the most important events of the year - the Glenn County Fair.
"The fair is an important time for all of us," said 15-year-old Sarah Boone, president of Capay 4-H. "It brings us together as a community."
Garrett Otterson, 12, of Clover 4-H in Willows, was happy to pitch in to clean up the fairgrounds, and not just because he will be bringing several meat, dairy and pygmy goats for exhibition and sale.
"We want to make the fairgrounds clean for everybody else," he said.
Glenn County 4-H has been around since 1915, so for most youth, bringing an animal to the fair is a right of passage.
"It's really exciting," said Ashley Boone, of Capay, who will show and sell a pig at the fair for the second time. "I look forward to it every year."
Plaza 4-H member Joseph Silveira, 9, said he wanted to start small his first year in 4-H, and plans to show only a rabbit at the fair.
"Next year, I'm going to bring a Holstein cow," he said.
Danny Zuppan, a member of the Capay 4-H, is bringing her dairy project, but happily admits she will probably be overshadowed by her family's famous quadruplets calves, which received worldwide attention when they were born in December.
Zuppan Dairy's Holstein quadruplets are doing well, she said, and will be on display at the Glenn County Fair, along with their famous mother.
"It's a pretty big deal," Zuppan said. "The odds of quadruplet calves are about 1 in 700,000. The odds of them being all heifers are more than 1 in 100 million."
The calves, one set of identical twins and one set of fraternal twins, will return to the Zuppan Dairy in Orland after the fair, and if they are not barren, they will be used for milking when they grow up, Zuppan said.
But 4-H isn't always about animals, said Shay Alves, of Willows, a former 4-H cooking and arts and craft leader.
Alves, who graduated from Orland High School in 1982, was in 4-H when she was a youth, and is proud its tradition and mission to engage youth in a variety of activities that will help them reach their fullest potential has been carried on to her own children.
Her daughter Lainie is raising a pig in Clover 4-H. Her daughter Amanda is in Willows FFA.
"Kids learn responsibility, leadership and showmanship," Alves said of both organizations.
Callie Tanson, 10, of Lake 4-H, will not only have a lamb at the fair, she will display a quilt, something she's put her heart into for several months.
Tanson and other Glenn County 4-H members in the sewing and quilting clubs gave the public their first peek at the exhibits on Saturday.
"I do several projects, including cooking, but I like sewing the most," said Clarissa Wetz, 12, of Lake 4-H, who won the overall highest award for her quilt on Saturday. "It's so much fun."
Glenn County 4-H members said most of the exhibits they plan to enter into the fair have been completed, and their animals are ready for their debuts.
"My pig Gwen looks really good and is working well with the cane," said Sarah Boone. "I think she will do great in the ring."
The Glenn County Fair is May 17-20.