Keiki Show off their Barnyard Beauties
Last Friday and Saturday, some strange sounds came from Kaunakakai Baseball Park. Beyond the typical cheers and shouts, one could hear grunts, bleats, and bellowing. Molokai’s 4-H program came out in full force, as their participants competed for showmanship and market value of the animals they had raised.
An auction was held after the competitions. Grand Championship for market hot and goat, as well as championship awards in showmanship, went to Kaula Apuna, a sixth-grader at Kualapu`u Elementary. Already a veteran at age 10, Apuna has participated in the program for five years. The program has taught her responsibility, and how to take care of things and people around her.
“If you treat the animals nice, they’ll treat you nice back,” Apuna said. For the past three months, she fed and walked all her animals two times a day, first thing in the morning and once in the evening. At auction, animals raise a price anywhere from $2 to $3 per pound, with limits on the total weight payable according to the different categories. The Grand Champion for the Steer Junior Showmanship was 14-year-old Maluhia Mendes, who has been involved in 4-H since she was 8, and knows what it takes to place.
“I kept my animal calm, kept eye contact with the judge, and set him up correctly,” Mendes said. eisha Pico, 17, was surprised she placed first in the Steer Senior Showmanship.
“I thought the judge wasn’t paying attention to me because he wasn’t looking at me,” Pico explained, who won for being calm and collected with her animal. Her steer’s name is Mufasa, after the king of the jungle in the Lion King.
“He was so wild; he wouldn’t let anyone touch him,” Pico said. “He had never seen a man before.” When she first got him, he weighed 700 pounds. By competition day he was up to 1,320 pounds. “At first I was kind of sad,” Pico said regarding the auctioning of Mufasa.
“But I need money to go to college.” Mufasa sold for $3.70 per pound, which was a lot more than Pico had hoped for. Now, thanks to 4-H, going to college for Pico has grown from a possibility to a reality. Awards Night for the 4H winners will be held August 24, at the Molokai Yacht Club. Also at that time, the Herdsmanship awards and the Record Book awards will be announced.