For the Laity family, 4 H is a natural fit.
"One that will look good on you come show time."
the season fairs, calves are chosen with prudence.
Her older brother, Jeremy, 14, holds securely onto the purple plastic calf halter that surrounds an amber and white snout, the rope hugging the bottom of the calf's eyes before encircling the back of the its head.
"Well, I was looking for like a pretty little one," Nadine said of her calf Valentine. "So, January or February, so she was born February 14, and she has good legs. She's built straight and strong."
"You measure the height from the bottom of the first foot to the shoulder, called the withers. And then we measure around the barrel," said Jeremy, indicating the area around the calf's chest, right behind the Roshes Shoes For Sale
Nadine and Jeremy are the great great grandchildren of Algernon Laity, the son of John Henry Laity, who settled in Maple Ridge in 1879 and started Brookfield Farm with dairy cows and prize cattle, as well as sheep and district's first silo.
Only two members of the local club actually live on a farm.
"There was a need to start it," Deanna said of the Nike Roshes One Print club.
Just two weeks old, Valentine weighs 114 pounds and is 30.5 inches tall.
This year is the fifth year for the Golden Ears 4 H Community Club that was started by Deanna and Matthew Laity.
hands and health
"That is called the heart girth. And you measure that in inches."
Valentine, born on Feb. 14, stands obediently outside the red and white barn, staring straight ahead. Nadine, 9, records Valentine's height, from the bottom of the hoof to the base of a level that her father, Matthew Laity, holds across the top of the calf's back. Then the level is rotated so it runs along the length of Valentine's back to measure the straightness of the backbone.
"So, for me, I look for a calf that was born around October or September, 'cause by the time we show them at the Maple Ridge fair, it will be at the right place on me."
front legs and around the back.
Matthew and Deanna Laity now help run Brookfield Farm.
The height of the calf is important.
They wanted a club that bridged the urban rural boundary one that becomes more blurred every year with sprawling housing developments.
same area you can tell the calf's weight.
"You can't have the cow looking silly," said Jeremy. "You don't want this little kid with a mammoth cow, you don't want a huge kid with a little cow. You just want a cow that looks good with its handler.
Nadine Laity flops down on her knees. Her worn jeans are tucked into green bottomed Wellies. Two thick mud coloured hoodies protect her from the late winter chill. A single long braid hangs down to the middle of her back, from underneath an oversized black baseball cap that shields her eyes from the sun as she pulls open the yellow tape measure and stretches it to the ground.
Nadine and Jeremy are members of the Golden Ears 4 H Community Club, in the dairy division. Members meet once a month at the Laity's historic farm on 123rd Avenue in Maple Ridge to measure and track their animal's growth.
This year the club has five divisions: dairy, outdoor living, foods or cooking, sheep, and Cloverbuds.
"You look for the kid's height and then you try and find a calf that will be the right height for the kid," said Jeremy.
Jeremy has been participating in 4 H clubs for six years, while this is the first year Nadine will have an animal project.
Now that the dairy children have chosen their calves, once a month they will record their measurements and weight in journals until the end of the season at the end of August.
Until now, she has been a member of the Cloverbuds, a division of the 4 H club for six to eight year olds, in which they learn about all about 4 H and go on field trips.
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There are 20 members of the five year old club, including nine who are new to 4 H (head, heart, hands, and health), itself a 100 year old organization.
Then there is a special tape that measures in pounds instead of inches and by measuring the Nike Roshe Yeezy Boost 350
"It is a community club, so it's not just for the large animals. You know, we've had other projects, like cooking and gardening and there's also self determined projects."
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