The Craig County 4-H program includes the Livestock, Shooting Education, Horse and Pony and Teen Clubs but is active in offering other opportunities as well. In March, 4-H Extension Agent Amber Robinson and 4-H volunteer Erica Jones conducted the second Birds in Winter after school program. Gabriel Devinney assisted with the sessions and was a big hit with the third through fifth grade students involved in the classes.
This program was a duplicate of the program offered earlier in January and ten more students had the opportunity to participate in this program for a total of 20 student participants overall. Students participated in various activities where they were able to learn more about birds, their habitat, their food and their adaptations. Students took a walk outside to look for various types of birds and to view different bird habitats. They painted their own wren birdhouses to take home, stuffed logs with suet, talked about bird ranges and when particular bird species could be found in Virginia and designed their own bird species based on bird adaptations discussed in class.
Students shared with the group the bird species they designed and information about where it lived, if it could fly, and what it ate. Students learned different facts about birds in each session and were able to share what they learned. For all twenty students that participated in the Birds in Winter Program their overall favorite activity was of course painting the birdhouses. However, several shared that their favorite part was taking the walk, and creating their own birds. 70 percent or more of all the students involved said that they now know more about birds, bird habitat, and bird adaptations and were more interested in birds because they participated in this program. Over half said that they are now more interested in science because of this program.
During the last weekend in March, Claire Deplazes represented Craig County in the State Hippology and Horse Judging Competitions, collectively known as EquiSmartz, at the Virginia Horse Festival. Individually she placed fifth in the judging portion of Hippology and was 14th overall out of 56 Junior individuals. She combined with other young ladies from various counties to compose a team for Hippology and Horse Judging. The team placed fifth in the exam portion of Hippology, third in stations, tenth in judging, fourth in team problem, and finished fourth overall.
The Horse Judging team placed seventh in performance classes, sixth in halter, fifth in reasons and finished sixth overall. The Misty Mountain Mane-iacs will now start looking toward the show season and begin the process of qualifying themselves and their horses for the State 4-H Horse Show in September.
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
-Submitted by Amber Robinson