NEWBERRY — A family tradition brought Bryce Horn of Chester into the 4-H Youth Development when he was 5 years old. Horn’s family has been participating in 4-H for generations: His grandfather, mother, brother, cousins and aunts all participated in 4-H in their youth.
Now 15, Horn participates in the Dairy Club and has participated in the Pullet Project. In the Dairy Club, Horn has to raise calves to make them ready to show in competitions, and the Pullet Project he had to raise a chicken and take it to show as well.
To properly show an animal, Horn has to talk about how he takes care of the animal, which includes discussing the animal’s feed or, if it is a chicken, about the eggs it can lay, and make sure they are in proper condition. He must also teach both types of animals to walk with him.
“I had fun doing the Pullet Project. The judges inspected the chicken and I had to talk about the chicken. I ended up coming in second place for that competition, because the chicken would not walk on command,” Horn said.
In the Dairy Project, the main project Horn participates in, he has learned how to make homemade ice cream and learned the proper way to raise a calf. However, Horn mainly enjoys taking a calf to be judged.
“My favorite part is showing cows. It is entertaining for me, and I get to hang with my friends and family,” Horn said.
Even though Horn is entering these competitions with his friends and family, there are no hard feelings when the ribbons have been awarded.
“My friends and I will smack talk each other up until the showing, and when it is all over, we just go back to joking with each other,” he said.
Doing these competitions, Horn has won many awards, and placed in multiple categories. To date, he has won two belt buckles, a mixture of ribbons (including a few blue ribbons), plagues and two trophies.
However, raising a calf is not all prizes and fun. Horn has to feed the calves a diet of feed, five different types from Country Supplies, and salads and mixed greens for nutrients. However, the hardest part of taking care of calves is giving them their shots.
“Cows do not like shots too much. I have to put them in the corner and stick them with the needle,” said Horn.
The calves Horn takes care of and shows belong to him, but they stay at his aunt’s farm nearby because of the equipment she can provide.
“We do not have a milking parlor like my aunt. She also has all the proper medicine to treat the calves at her farm. My aunt also breeds cattle and she ends up breeding mine when they are big enough,” said Horn.
Although Horn lives in Chester, he is a part of Newberry’s 4-H program because his mother works in Newberry as an Extension Agent helping with farm safety and his aunt and cousins live in Newberry.
“My cousins, that live in Newberry, are around my age and I like spending time with them and my aunt,” said Horn.
Another added advantage about being with Newberry’s 4-H is that Horn will be attending Newberry Academy in the fall as a ninth grader.