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Elisha & Adam
Elisha, her brother, sisters, and steer Adam.
Adam & Elisha's sister- Future 4-H Member
Meet Elisha and her steer, Adam. A sophomore at Moses Lake High School, Elisha is involved in the FFA club and plays the flute in band. Along with these extracurricular activities, she is enrolled in the Grant County 4-H Program and is a member of the 89er’s 4-H Club. Elisha has been involved in 4-H for 7 years. She originally started out showing sheep when she was 9 years old and eventually moved on to showing beef at the age of 11.
Growing up on the family farm, her parents encouraged her to enroll in 4-H. Being a part of 4-H is a long standing tradition in her family. Her mom and dad were both members of the same 4-H club growing up. Her mother was 12 years old when she first started 4-H.
Raising an animal is a big responsibility and one that Elisha takes seriously. Her daily duties involve feeding her steer twice a day. Because steers are habitual animals, Elisha feeds Adam at the same time every day. She takes note on how much she feeds him by weighing out his food. To make sure he is gaining just the right amount of weight, Adam gets weighed monthly and Elisha will adjust his diet if necessary. Although the required weight of a steer should be between 1,100 to 1,500 lbs., Elisha has set a goal for Adam to weigh just over 1,400 lbs. by Fair time. Besides feeding him daily, Elisha also grooms Adam which includes rinsing and brushing him every day to promote healthy hair growth. Elisha practices walking and handling him to prepare for the fitting and showing demonstration that takes place during Fair in which she will be judged and awarded premiums and ribbons. It is important that the judges see that the 4-H member puts in the time in with their animal and know how to best present their animal and how well it is trained. She will also be judged in beef market division where the judges will determine if her steer has been properly fed and if it best fits beef standards and criteria. She explains that there are specific ownerships dates that she must adhere to as well as making sure she gets her steer weighed and tagged in April.
Being a 4-H member is not just about raising an animal and showing it at the County Fair. As members you are expected to attend 4-H meetings and participate in fundraisers and service projects. Every year her 4-H club offers gift wrapping services at North 40 for donations. They are also involved in service projects around the community, such as volunteering to help clean houses and do yard work for those with cancer. In order to be eligible to auction off her animal at the livestock sale, she is also required to create an educational poster relating to her steer. Additionally, she maintains a record book on the progress of her project where she records all her financials such as profit and loss, hours spent training her steer, what she’s learned along the way and goals for her project. Elisha uses the money she earns from selling her animal to buy new livestock for the following year and sets some aside for her college savings fund. She recently saved enough of her earnings to purchase heifers and would like to eventually breed them so she can raise their calves and enter them at future fairs.
In addition to entering her steer at the Grant County Fair, Elisha has also exhibited animals at the Adams County and Waterville Fairs. And has attended the Washington Junior Angus Field Day in Ellensburg and the Wheatland Jackpot in Ritzville to gain experience.
She says the hardest part about being in 4-H is the time and commitment required to be successful. But the friendships she's made along the way and the experience she's gained in learning to raise an animal make it all worth it.
Her long-term goals are to attend Washington State University to earn a degree in agriculture. She would love to have a career in the agriculture industry and carry on the family tradition by having her children involved in the 89er’s 4-H Club.
Keep an eye out for Elisha and her steer, Adam, at the Grant County Fair and be sure to say hello!