STATE FAIR OF VIRGINIA 2010
Caroline began planning for her lambs in May. She says most people might not think about it, but there’s a lot to be done before you buy your lambs and bring them home.
First, she had to fill out an application for her 4-H leader and file it on time. “They really want you to do things on time,” she said, “and if you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to do a lamb project.”
The application is fairly simple. You have to give your name, age, the name of your club, and tell them what kind of animal you want to raise and how many. Then your parents have to sign it to give you permission to do the project.
Caroline already had a pen in one of their barns, with a fenced-in area beside it, so she didn’t have to do much to get a suitable place for them to live. But she had to make other preparations, like buying food and a halter for each lamb.
The next step is very important, according to Caroline. “You have to do your research to find out where to buy your lambs and who to buy them from. In my part of the state, we get a lot of help from a man who works for the Virginia Department of Agriculture. His name is Mike Carpenter, and he knows just about everything about sheep and other types of livestock.”
You also have to figure out how much each lamb will cost and where you’ll get the money. Her lambs cost $125 each, and since this was her first year, her parents bought the lambs and the food and equipment. She agreed to pay them back after she sold the lambs.