4-H Pigs vs. Guinea Pigs

4-H swine winner
Photo credit: EESC
Q:
I'd like information on participating in 4-H with my son. He's 7 now and would like to raise a pig. Is there somewhere I can find the "rules" as we do not have any previous experience in 4-H (although we do have several friends/family who do!). Also, we currently live in Multnomah County...are we still able to participate in Clackamas County? - Multnomah County, Oregon
A:

Thank you for your interest in 4-H! The swine project is for youth in grades 4-12. It sounds like it will be a year or two before your son is this age. Between now and then, I encourage you to visit the county fair and chat with some members and leaders. Also, anyone is welcome to purchase our 4-H materials, and we have a very comprehensive guide for swine. It costs around $20. Resources for rules specific to swine include our County Fair Book (last year's is still up on our website) and the Junior Livestock Auction's website.

If you are ready to get started in 4-H now, we have an excellent K-3rd grade program called Cloverbuds. Members explore many different topics. Those topics can include learning about animals, although members can only handle small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens) and not any dogs, livestock, or horses. To learn more about these programs, you could participate in our Blue Ribbon Workshops on April 21.

If your son wants to enroll in Cloverbuds and participate in county fair this summer, he would need to be enrolled in a club by May 1. To find a club, call us at 503-655-8635 and ask for Trisha.

It's fine with us if you live in Multnomah county but join the Clackamas County 4-H program. If you want to know more about clubs in Multnomah County, try calling the Washington county office at 503-821-1150 (I know it's confusing, but they are providing office support for the Multnomah clubs). They will have the same rule about swine projects starting in 4th grade, but their other programs and deadlines may be different.

Wendy Hein
4-H Youth Faculty
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