This week, the monthly Moffat County 4-H Newsletter arrived in the mail. When I saw the Hamilton Busy Beavers 4-H Club mentioned with the 4-H Council, I was reminded of those years long ago when I was in 4-H. I belonged to the Hamilton Busy Beavers Club, and I don’t like to think about how many years ago it was!
I joined 4-H when I was 8 years old as an associate member. As they became old enough, my sisters and brother joined the club, too. Our mother and father were leaders.
The monthly meetings were held at the Hamilton School. When I first started attending the meetings, the older members, mostly high school kids, were officers. I remember sitting quiet as a mouse during the meetings because I was a shy kid anyway. But with my parents’ encouragement, I participated in club activities.
The Hamilton Busy Beavers was (and still is) a community club, which means the membership elected officers, carried out community service projects and presented demonstrations about projects. We also held dances for members, friends, and families — probably about once per month.
Within the club, we also attended project meetings. I can remember meetings for livestock projects, first aid, home nursing, home beautification and gardening and home economics. The purpose of these meetings was to learn more about our project areas.
Our club sent a representative to the 4-H council. I think the council meetings were held about once per month. We met in the courtroom at the court house. I remember how intrigued we were with the judge’s bench. That’s where the council president got to stand when he or she conducted the meeting.
Before I was in my teens, I participated in livestock judging. About this time of the year the extension agent arranged “field trips” around Moffat County where we could practice judging cattle and sheep. I don’t remember getting to judge many pigs because it was hard to, and to practice giving reasons for the way we placed the animals in a class, from first to fourth place.
We also attended judging contests out of town. I remember going to Gunnison. When I was 14, I was eligible to be a member of the Moffat County Livestock Judging Team that competed during the Annual 4-H Conference in Fort Collins. (I was the only girl on the team.) We judged classes that were set up at the animal sciences farm at CSU.
The 4-H Conference was a big deal for us. Besides the livestock judging, contests were held in public speaking, drama (putting on plays) and presenting demonstrations. Some 4-Hers attended the conference as delegates. Election of officers was held. One year I “ran” for an office but wasn’t elected. However, some years later, my brother Duane Osborn was elected state vice president.
When I was in 4-H, our dad, Kenneth Osborn, drove Moffat County kids to Fort Collins to attend the conference.
I joined 4-H as an associate member, but the years passed quickly and I was one of the high school kids, helping younger children through the Junior Leader program. I got to lead the 4-H council meetings from the judge’s bench, and we older members took charge of 4-H events such as 4-H Week, Demonstration Day and some aspects of the Moffat County Fair. By now I had met Lyle Prather, who was a member of the Elkhead Wranglers, also an active club in Moffat County to this day.
Years later, after Lyle and I were married and had children, our sons joined the Hamilton Busy Beavers Club. It’s been a lot of years.