AMHERST, N.S. – Learning to be a judge helps 4-H members develop a keen eye for quality.
“It’ helps down the road when, one day, you have to pick out a house or pick out a vehicle,” Lynden Bacon, a member of the Double D 4-H Club, said.
“Or pick out a wife,” added fellow club member Isaac Atkinson with a laugh.
The two 17-year-old 4-H’ers attend Amherst Regional High School. They both joined the Double D club at the same time, about eight years ago, and have formed a good friendship with each other and other club members.
“You form bonds within the club and with people throughout the county and throughout the province,” Bacon said.
4-H members range in age from 7 to 21, and from day one they learn how to display their projects, such as welding metal parts together, display their livestock, and, also, how to judge other people’s projects and livestock.
They also learn to speak in public by participating in public speaking competitions.
“You get comfortable speaking in front of a crowd,” Atkinson said.
Sharlene Carter-Earle has led the Double D 4-H Club for almost 20 years.
“Our motto is ‘learn to do by doing.”
Each year Bacon and Atkinson display livestock and projects at competitions throughout the province.
“I’ve shown beef cattle, dairy cattle, rabbits, and draft horses,” Bacon said.
And each year they compete in woodsmen competitions.
“Seven clubs compete against each other in Cumberland County, and the winners go onto the provincial competition at the Agricultural College in Truro,” Bacon said.
Besides travelling throughout the province, 4-H members also travel throughout Canada.
Bacon travelled to the Royal Agricultural Fair in Toronto, which is the biggest agriculture fair in Canada to show dairy cattle.
“I went to Toronto when I was 14-years-old,” Bacon said. “That’s definitely one of the better experiences I’ve had in 4-H.”
Most recently, 12 members of the Double D club took a 10-day trip to Neepawa, Manitoba.
“When you’re a 4-H member, you’re a 4-H member for life and meet people from throughout Canada in 4-H. You form common bonds,” Carter-Earle said.
She says many young people who passed through the Double D program over the years have gone on to be very productive members of society.
“4-H kids tend to be very responsible. I have many former 4-H members who I’m really proud to say came up through the program. I’m really proud of them,” she said.
Bacon and Atkinson say 4-H is a lot of fun.
“Every activity we’ve done in 4-H I’ve had nothing but fun at,” Bacon said.
“And you form lifelong memories and friends,” added Atkinson.
The club is always looking for new members.
The cost to join the Double D club is $35 per year and they meet the second Sunday of every month.
“You can come to a meeting and see what it’s all about,” Bacon said.
The club is hosting an open house Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. at Brookdale Hall, which is located just North of Cumberland North Academy Elementary School.
For more information call Carter-Earle 902-667-7486 at or Bacon at 902-397-3067, or Atkinson at 902-664-1868.