4-H Pride in Photos
Young people throughout the region are involved in many 4-H Programs.
The four H’s in the youth development organization's name stand for: head, heart, hands and health. Members work on those four values through program.
At the Luzerne County Fair, local 4-H members involved in the agricultural projects showed off their animals. They take care of rabbits, horses, cows, goats and even alpacas throughout the year. They are often responsible for raising and training the animals, including making sure they are fed and groomed.
WVIA News profiled some of those members.
Viancca Donadi, from Stillwater, started riding horses when she was around 7 or 8 years old. She got her first horse when she was 11.
After encouragement from her friends, she joined 4-H about 6 months ago.
"You can meet so many cool people here," she said about 4-H. "And you can learn so much ... the people that I have met recently have taught me so much about horses and how to take care of mine."
Viancca showed Viggo at the Luzerne County Fair. He's an ex-race horse. She also runs barrels with him.
“He'll literally let you just love on him for hours," she said.
Hunter Venesky, 10, washed his 6-month-old cow, Prism, outside of the 4-H barn at the fair on Wednesday, Sept. 6. He splashed down Prism's hooves and brushed his jet-black hide.
Hunter is from Hobbie. He said Prism is a dairy crossbreed, that means dad was an all beef angus cow and his mom was a dairy cow.
Hunter was excited to show off Prism at the fair. Later that night, he won first place, grand champion.
“The fairs are fun but probably at the end … you did all that work and it all paid off," he said.
In the next year, Hunter will sell Prism during the 4-H auction.
"It’s going to be rough," he said. "Knowing that we don't have to butcher him ... is much better though.”
KellyAnn Venesky, 10, showed her six-month-old cow, Lacey Jane, at the fair. She is Hunter's twin. Her cow is also Prism's sibling.
As a member of 4-H, KellyAnn said she learns responsibility. She also likes the friendships she develops.
“It's a great experience with agricultural and responsibility," she said. "It's really fun to just get together with your group and have meetings together.”
Anya Atherton, 14, of Harding, brought two cows and one rabbit to the fair.
Her cows are Irish Red Dexters. Ruby is eight and a half years old and her baby, Phoebe, is six months old. Anya has had Ruby since the cow was only three months old.
She enjoys meeting new people and showing the cows at the fair.
“It shows people that cows are other than meat, they’re pets," she said. "And they can have bonds with people."
Anya demonstrated how the judges will assess her mostly-white rabbit with black spots.
"What you have to do is hold their head and cover their eyes so they don't freak out," she said. "And bunch them up to make them look like a basketball."
The rabbit is flipped over and her teeth and nails are checked and her fur for any mats.
She says her one-year-old rabbit must be related to a goat or something.
"She eats everything," she said.
Benjamin Hineline is 8. He was at the fair with his 5-year-old horse, Honey, and his family's alpacas.
4-H is "really awesome," he said.
"There's so many kids and it’s a lot of experience," he said.
Madisen Brown, 9, stood by her goat, Coconut. She also had a horse at the fair.
"It feels nice to have the goat here," she said.
She's been a member of 4-H for five years and likes that she learns different things as a part of the organization.
Ryan Hineline, 14, is from Shickshinny. He was showing a horse at the fair.
“I'll just keep an eye on my horse and compete against other opponents," he said.
He's been a member of 4-H for four years.
Kendell Hanson, 14, brought a horse, goat and cow to the fair. To bring her animals, she had to make sure they had all their shots.
From Wapwallopen, Kendell has been a 4-H member for four years.
"I think it helps you learn that animals are like people," she said. "It helps you reconnect with the world and nature."
Emily Hanson, 12, is from Wapwallopen. She's a four year member of 4-H. She had her horse, Jess, at the fair.
"Me and her won grand champion last year for showmanship so we want to try to win again," she said.
Jayden Casterline, 13, showed his American Quarter Horse at the fair.
His horse used to show at the Benton Rodeo. She did barrel racing and pole bending. He decorated her pen in a Christmas theme.
It's Jayden's first year in 4-H and he enjoys learning more about the horses and other livestock.
The Luzerne County Fair continues until Sunday, Sept. 10. For more details, visit https://luzernecountyfair.com/.