Your 2014 State Council

Your 2014 State Council

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Purple Pouch Surprise

When ever my family travels we take our camera in a purple case to keep it protected. When it is not in use the case goes back onto the cabinet. Now you're probably wondering why I just told you this; well the case comes out when I am not home and one of my dairy animals calve.
If my animals calve when I am at school, my Dad goes to the farm and helps with the process. He takes the camera for pictures of the process and the new calf. The case was on my desk, not in the cabinet. I figured something was happening. You probably guessed the surprise. My animal indeed did have a calf.
The surprise does not stop there. The calf was a red and white Holstein. Simple science will tell you that the calf probably came from a red bull and cow. That was not the case. The mother was red and white BUT the father was black and white.
This birth was miracle to have the calf a red animal. For a buyers/ market stand point a red animal is more valuable in my area. When you jog back to 7th grade science you would use a punnett square to find the chance of different genes being passed to offspring. This time the punnett square showed 50% both ways: a red calf and a black calf. The red genes are recessive so for the animal to be red is a miracle I love.
In every good story there is also something that is sad, or upsetting. This story has just that. The calf was a male, or bull, not a heifer. On my farm I only keep the heifers to show at the local fairs. The bulls will got to market to be sold. My calf that was born was sold on market.
If the calf was or was not sold on market, the birth is a circle of life. Through 4-H this is one of the most important lessons I learned. 4-H gives us each a chance to learn something new at every event we participate in. I hope you all are finding you niche, just like I did with my dairy animals.

With something to think about,

Ashley Mohn
PA State 4-H Council Secretary

“A circle is the reflection of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end - and if you put several circles over each other, then you get a spiral.”

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