Seventeen year old Casey Defield has lived in an urban environment her entire life. But thanks to Moore Farm in Arvada, Defield has been raising pigs to show at the Jefferson County Fair 4-H Swine …
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4-H is a national youth development program that has been in existence for more than 100 years. The primary goal of 4-H is to assist youth in developing life skills that help them live productive and satisfying lives.
Jefferson County has many club offerings for youth interested in joining 4-H. To see what clubs are available in Jefferson County go to: jeffco.extension.colostate.edu/4-h
Seventeen year old Casey Defield has lived in an urban environment her entire life. But thanks to Moore Farm in Arvada, Defield has been raising pigs to show at the Jefferson County Fair 4-H Swine Show.
The Moore Brothers Farm — located at 72nd Avenue and Ward Road in Arvada — is a 50-acre historic property sold to the city in 2002. The property houses over a dozen structures to care for livestock, including barns, a red-brick grain silo and an on-site caretaker. It is also now a place for youth who cannot keep animals at their urban homes to have access to a working farm, where they can raise animals for market through the local 4-H program.
Sisters Aspen and Coral Tolman, of Westminster, were two youths who raised their pigs on the farm.
“We can't have animals at our house and Moore Farm provided a place for us to raise animals,” said Coral Tolman, 14, adding that her pig, Bella, rolls over for belly rubs and gives kisses.
A challenge for her though, was being far away and having to drive to take care of her animals.
“The biggest thing I've learned is the time management and the amount of responsibility it takes to take care of these animals,” said Ian Clark, 17, of Wheat Ridge. “It doesn't really matter if it's blizzarding outside or 120 degrees, you have to make sure your animals are your top priority.”
For Clark, the most challenging part is auction day. In his fifth year of raising animals, he showed rabbits, goats, swine and beef at the Jefferson County Fair.
“Having to say goodbye, I get emotional,” Clark said. “I like to put on my sunglasses and try to hide the emotion … but everyone knows. You get very attached to your animals. Every year it's a lot harder. The more fun you have, the harder it is at the end to say goodbye.”
Clark usually reinvests the money he earns from selling his animals at auction. But this year, he will be using it to help pay tuition at University of Wyoming, where he will be studying mechanical engineering.
For his younger brother, Evan, 14, dedication and calmness are the two things he has learned from raising animals through 4-H. His experiences has taught him that when he grows up, he wants to pursue farming or ranching as a career.
In a couple weeks, he will be taking his pig, raised at Moore Farm, to the Colorado State Fair.
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