Osteen 4-H club gets branding lesson

The Gopher Grabbers members designed their own brands. When you create a brand you have to make sure that nobody else has the same brand as you. Photo by; AJ Sosa. 11 years old, Osteen Gopher Grabbers 4-H Club, 15 years old

by Jaden Moore, 15 years old

Osteen Gopher Grabbers is a 4-H club based out of Osteen and has been an established club since the 2015-2016 4-H year. 4-H provides opportunities to youth 5-18 years old to learn by doing. There are many projects available for members to do where they can learn about health, science, agriculture, citizenship and leadership skills. The youth are taught how to run their club and meetings by adult mentors such as 4-H leaders, parents, and by the more experienced 4-H members.

The Gopher Grabbers club members are active in a variety of projects including sewing, canning, crafting, and livestock projects. Several Gopher Grabber members have animals that they raise and show including guinea pigs, chickens, sheep and steer. The club also participates in community service such as assisting with the Osteen Cemetery clean up in the spring and look forward to the possibility of assisting the local hospitals with planting gardens to teach patients about healthier living.

Club members are encouraged to participate in public speaking and in teaching their peers and others. For example, during February’s meeting Jarrett Lefils and his younger sister Jenna Lefils presented an illustrated talk about cattle farming. The Lefils’ family is generational cattle ranchers here in Florida. Jarrett told the club members about ways to identify cattle, included ear tagging, ear notching, hot branding, electric branding and freeze branding. He also explained the reasons why different types of identification are used on his family farm. Jenna helped out by showing pictures that were provided to go along with the talk Jarrett was giving. Mr. Bullhead, Mark Sutton of the Volusia County Cattlemen’s Association, who is also known as Jarrett’ and Jenna’s “Papa Bullhead,” had each club member create their own brand. Then he showed them how branding worked by putting their brand designs onto pieces of wood.