Growing up, some of my fondest memories were the times I was participating in 4-H or FFA related activities, which is why I am so excited that my oldest child, my son, Graham, finally is old enough to be in 4-H this year.

Although he showed sheep last year in a few open shows with my parents, this year will be the first time he gets to exhibit his sheep at the local county 4-H fair, which was the highlight of my summers when I was a 4-H member.

I have to be honest that I was a little nervous because I remember all the countless hours my dad would have my siblings and myself at the barn working and taking care of our show animals, and I was afraid Graham might get burnt out before he even participated in his first county fair.

This week, while my parents were out of town, Graham and I were left in charge of tending my dad’s flock of sheep, which includes two rams, 11 yearling ewes, two ewes still nursing lambs, one pregnant ewe, six weaned lambs and a set of triplet lambs that have to be bottle-fed because their mom passed away.

My son has helped my dad feed the sheep every night for the past six months, and my dad always brags about how good Graham is and how much of a help he is to my dad, but until I saw my 9-year-old in action these past few days, I had trouble picturing it.

However, if it hadn’t been for my son helping me feed the sheep, there is no way I would have ever been able to feed them correctly, or in a timely manner.

It probably would be a more accurate statement to say “with me helping my son” because he was in charge and knew exactly what he was doing.

While we were caring for the sheep, my son also would talk about how excited he was to start working with his 4-H sheep. I am so beyond blessed that my son is excited for 4-H and can’t wait to see him show this summer.

Ashley Langreck can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 192, or alangreck@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Langreck.

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