Submitted by Harrison Sachs
Six members of the Bedford Farmers 4-H Club participated in the Middlesex County 4-H Fair in Westford recently.
This fair is the culmination of countless hours spent nurturing animals, honing skills, and building camaraderie among club members. Beyond the blue ribbons and trophies, the fair was a celebration of their growth as individuals and as a team, as well as showcasing their passion and dedication to their animal projects.
Three of the club’s members showed sheep and three showed goats. Both sheep and goat exhibitors showed their animals in a ring where they were judged on fitting, showmanship, and breed/market classes. The exhibitors were also judged on the cleaning and grooming of the animals.
In the showmanship category, the 4-Hers were judged on how well they work with their animals and on presentation.
The goat exhibitors showed off their months of hard work. Jaya Kaushik placed third in showmanship and first in breed. Hanna Sullivan-Fieldman placed third in fitting and showmanship and second in breed. Hanna also placed first on the novice goat quiz that tested her understanding of goat anatomy, veterinary care, and the American Dairy Goat Association.
Hanna’s mom said, “My favorite quote from the judge in Hanna’s event was when she said Hanna’s goat had ‘the cleanest feet in the class.’ It was a great first experience at the fair and truly gave Hanna more confidence in herself. I’m very grateful for 4-H and the way it’s helping our shy kid grow. These are challenges Hanna would have never attempted without 4-H.”
Although PJ Sullivan was not able to get placed because he is a cloverbud (younger group), he did an amazing job presenting his goat, Charcoal.
All three of the sheep exhibitors earned the top place in their division. Ananya Shivappa placed as the top novice, Shreyes Shivappa was the top junior, and Harrison Sachs was the top senior.
Harrison Sachs won first place in skill-a-thon which is an interactive test on sheep knowledge where he had to identify different breeds, fiber samples, and body parts. He was also asked questions based on different feed nutrition labels.
Shreyes Shivappa’s team won first in blocking. That is a contest where the team is given a dirty sheep fresh off the field, and they have to clean it to their best ability in under an hour.
In addition, Shreyes and Harrison won the Delano Award, given to the exhibitor who has the most points for fitting, showmanship skill-a-thon, and blocking. Shreyes and Hanna also submitted static exhibits in addition to their livestock.
Shreyes entered some of his photography and a creative writing piece. Hanna exhibited a needle-felted hamster that she made and a photo of her guinea pig.
The 4-H Farmers Club of Bedford’s primary focus is on learning about agriculture and livestock. The Club currently has nine members, ages 6 – 17 in the local Bedford area. The members are extremely involved with caring for animals at Chip-in Farm in Bedford.
The Club is facilitated by adult leader and coordinator Lisa Kaushik and club president Harrison Sachs.
4-H enables youth to reach their fullest potential through developing life skills and experiential education. Youth learn by doing.
Harrison Sachs is a student in the Class of 2024 at Bedford High School.