Four area youth are aiming for a 100, that is aiming to go to the 100 PA Farm Show in January as exhibitors. All four area youth are members of the Blue Mountain 4-H Livestock Club. Each youth is raising a market lamb. The dynamic duo of Strouse and Strouse, Stephani and Sara Strouse of Auburn, are raising two lambs. Then, over in Orwigsburg, Collin Felty and Casmira Keller are raising two other lambs.

It is the hope of the 4-H’ers to place well in their respective Jr. Market Lamb class on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 to then be able to sell their lambs in the Junior Market animal Sale. The sale will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 12 and only 120 market lambs will be sold. The opportunity to sell their lambs will be enhanced by their participation in the Outstanding Young Shepherd Program. In this program, exhibitors test their knowledge on the fundamentals of sheep management practices through a test called a Skillathon. In the Skillathon test, participants are quizzed on quality assurance and general health of sheep, meat identification and questions, equipment identification and use, feeds, feeding and nutrition as well as sheep raising management practices. Samantha Strouse has taken on the challenge of testing her knowledge of raising sheep by participating in the Skillathon portion of the Outstanding Young Shepherd Program. The Skillathon scores, along with the ability of the participant to demonstrate showmanship skill as well as exhibiting animals of superior body conformation, make up the final score placement in the Outstanding Young Shepherd Program.

The 4-H’ers have been raising these lambs since August. They have been seeing to their daily care with fresh water and feed. Special attention is being taken to raise these animals for competition at this superior level. Special feeding and nutritional supplements are administered to raise a lamb of superior quality. Exercise is also part of the regular routine to develop muscling in the animal. So, not only is he lamb getting a work out, the 4-H’er is also. Diet and exercise are carefully administered and monitored by the 4-H’er so the animal can meet its genetic potential. Although the 4-H’ers have experience raising lambs for show and sale at the Schuylkill County Fair, raising them during the fall and winter months can add to the challenge. As the weather turns cold, the lamb will burn more energy to maintain its body temperature and can lose body muscle. So, with a proper regiment of diet and exercise the lambs will be trained for the heightened level of competition found at the 100 PA Farm Show.

Stephani, Sara and Samantha Strouse, along with Collin Felty and Casmira Keller, have set their sights on the 100 PA Farm Show. Hopefully their study, hard work and diligence will all pay off in the end. Every 4-H’er is out to make the “Best Better.” Stephani, Sara, Samantha, Casmira and Collin will do their best to make this Farm Show the best ever.

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