Mooren family supports one another
Casper – After four years growing and learning through 4-H, the Mooren girls have supported each other in the Natrona County 4-H program.
Leland, 15, Parker, 12, and Quinci, 9, daughters of Caroline and Jerry Mooren of Casper, have been showing goats and poultry for four years, and they started 4-H from the influence of both their mother and a classmate.
“We live in the country,” says Leland. “We have a friend who said we should start 4-H because we had so many animals.”
Parker adds, “My mom really wanted us to get into learning about our animals more.”
As a result, the sisters began their adventure showing goats and poultry.
From the beginning
“We started out with chickens and progressed from there,” says Leland. “Poultry are small and simple, and we knew someone who could help us learn about them.”
They chose Bantam chickens because of their size and demeanor, and she explains that they are smaller and easier to handle.
“The Bantams are more docile, and they are pretty birds,” she notes. “They are really interesting. I love showing chickens.”
Parker adds, “When we did chickens the first year, I thought it was really fun.”
Their second year, the girls also began showing goats to help with the financial aspect of the project.
Parker says, “We had a friend who wanted to sell us some goats, so we started showing those.”
They show Boer goats, including both market and breeding animals.
Quinci says, “I like showing the breeding goats because we have them longer than the meat goats. It’s easier to work with them.”
“We can sell goats in the livestock sale to help pay for our feed and supplies,” Leland explains.
After adding goats to the project, Leland and Parker also each showed a steer, but realized a steer was too much work when coupled with their other species.
“The steers were harder to show and took so much time. I had a good experience the first year, so I showed a steer again last year.” says Leland. “It was too much all together, so we went back to just goats and chickens.”
In 2014’s Central Wyoming Fair, the sisters saw multiple successes.
Leland comments, “The poultry show went really well this year. Our birds did a really good job in the overall classes.”
Additionally, Leland won the reserve champion belt buckle in FFA for goat showmanship.
Quinci received the grand champion showmanship award with her goat and reserve champion showmanship prize with her chickens.
“My rooster also got reserve for the breed, and my hen won champion overall in the breed,” she adds.
Parker has also seen success in her past years of 4-H, although she says this year wasn’t her year.
“This year, I placed fifth through seventh in all of my species, but two years ago I won my first belt buckle and that made me really happy,” Parker says, adding that she looks forward to working for another one in the future.
Love of 4-H
For the Moorens, 4-H is really about establishing friendships and working together to accomplish goals, which is something they have noticed is unique to the activity.
“I love how everyone in 4-H works together to get the job done,” Leland says. “It isn’t like some of the sports where everyone is constantly competing. I love how everyone works together and is so friendly.”
Parker notes that if a fellow 4-H member sees a need, they jump in and help out.
“I love how people are so nice to each other,” she says. “When I’m pushing a wheelbarrow or something and need a gate opened, there is always someone there to open it. Everyone works hard and is so nice.”
They’ve also made friends through the years, allowing them to learn more and help each other out.
Through their show careers, the girls have taken many valuable lessons from raising animals.
“I’ve learned that to take care of animals we have to be responsible,” Leland says. “It also taught me to respect my parents. They feed me, make sure I drink enough water during the day and make sure I’m eating healthy. I feel like I’m responsible for my goats like my parents are responsible for me.”
Quinci has learned that it is important to work hard to accomplish her goals.
“It is important to do our own work in life and not have someone else do it for us,” she explains. “They might do it wrong or mess me up if I always have someone else doing my work.”
Consistency has been an important lesson for Parker.
“I learned that 4-H and showing is basically like life,” Parker notes. “If I have a job and skip one day or if I skip one feeding with my goats, they probably won’t make weight. In a job, I’d get fired.”
“I’ve learned to take care of my property and take care of myself so I don’t end up in catastrophe or with a horrible name because I wasn’t taking care of my animals,” she continues.
All three look forward to continuing to learn and grow through 4-H and plan to continue into the future to develop their projects.