Friday, April 14, 2017

Cuteness abounds at Barnyard Babies event by Stephen Signor

While Windham Blue Seal Feeds was having a truck load sale last week at their store on 43 Main Street, the Young Farmers 4-H Beef Club was also there holding an event of their own, bringing a little Easter fun into the mix. 
Two year old Zetty from Gorham fed the ewes

To welcome spring, “Barnyard Babies” was the theme of the day. Baby farm animals were available in pens outside the store for viewing pleasure, feeding and petting; while inside 4-H kids were selling raffle tickets. Haines Photography was also on hand to take Easter photos with live rabbits provided by the Cumberland County Rabbit Breeders Association. 

“We’ve brought Sapphire, a ewe and her baby twins, Sage and Sapphire Junior along with goat Ava, for the kids to touch,” shared Kathy Pride, Co-leader of the beef club.

Like last year, they are hoping to be able to fund another educational road trip. “We are fund raising for another trip, probably in the fall or sometime in January. We are going to the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January or Louisville, Kentucky to a big beach.”

“There is also an expo that is going to happen in May, so there is a meat raffle here today; with all the money going toward buying prizes for the kids, an education class and the general fund,” Pride’s husband ,Troy added.

Up for grabs was a winner’s choice of: 50 pounds of beef, 10 pounds of lamb or 10 pounds of pork.

This event was held last fall, at a time of year when there is more products to be sold and less space for crowds to gather. That over-crowding experience caused a necessary change. “We tried something different this time around because last year we learned that there were very long lines. We figured doing this earlier in the year, people could mill around freely because we really don’t have a lot of space inside,” said Blue Seal store manager Melanie Locke. 
Although this is the first time Doug and Gini Haines, owners, have had Easter Bunny photography available at the store, they have been doing pet portraits since starting their business 35 years ago. For them it turned out to be a good day. “It was a successful day. We did around 60 portraits which is a lot of kids. That bunny must have been tired, it was a long day for him,” shared Gini Haines jokingly.

Wendy Nugent was one of the numerous parents who had her child photographed with the Easter Bunny. Her eight year old daughter, Madison, sat in front of a colorful barnyard-themed studio, complete with hay bales, crates, barrels and of course - an Easter basket filled with colorful plastic eggs. “I had a good time petting the bunny and I am having a fun time,” Madison shared.
A chinchilla rabbit named Panda, a rare and endangered species, visited the special event for the day and later in the afternoon, a fun bunny hopping race occurred. “It’s like [dog] agility but with bunnies,” shared Pride. 

A long, busy, productive day also proved to be a fairly lucrative one for the 4-H Beef Club. “Our end total was $500.00.  It was crazy busy right up to the end!! All the animals and kids were very tied by the end of the day”, stated Pride. 

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