Clara Domin, a Freeport High School junior, let Real Maine follow along this year as she raised lambs as part of 4-H’s Market Animal Program.
We visited as Clara performed her twice-daily chores of feeding and watering her five lambs, three ewes and one yearling, and cleaning their pens. We were with her as she sheared their wool, and readied their feet, nails, and ears for agricultural fair season.
Clara cared for two market lambs – George and Willow. Her market lambs went to auction at the Cumberland Fair, where they were weighed, shown, run through an obstacle course, and auctioned off in order of what place they finished.
We are proud to report Clara sold both of her lambs at auction. Her lambs placed second and third in the lightweight class and were among the first nine lambs sold. She also received champion of the breed in two classes, won the obstacle course, and received first place for her lead line outfit, which included a hat she knit and a sweater that one her 4-H leaders knit. For her winning outfit, she received a gift certificate to have some of her own wool processed for spinning.
We were also following Clara’s neighbors Molly and Isla York, who are in eighth grade and fifth grade, respectively, raise their lambs. Molly and Isla both won their showmanship classes and had a successful auction.
The 4-H Market Animal Program has been in existence for several decades and applies life skills taught in 4-H, including work ethic, patience, and marketing and business skills. Those that participate prepare their animals to be at their best for showing and as healthy as possible.
For more information about 4-H in Maine and to volunteer, go to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s 4-H website.