The Roundup -

Demings Offer an Opportunity for In-Town 4-H Members to Raise Livestock


When Kelly and Jason Deming got their kids involved in 4-H, they quickly realized that it was something that was very rewarding and lots of fun. Kelly Deming, who was a member of McKenzie County 4-H for ten years, put the word out, contacting five in-town families that they are friends with and encouraged them to get their kids involved in Richland County 4-H. The Demings offered to house the livestock animals for kids that would otherwise be unable to raise and show goats, sheep, hogs, and cattle.

Five years later, they have had five different families take them up on their offer, sometimes accommodating three to four families at a time. While some have moved on from 4-H and others have moved to rural property that allows for livestock, the Demings continue to welcome interested families. This year they have five 4-H members from three different families plus two of their own kids involved and some of the kids have multiple animals.

“We try to help out however we can whether that’s assisting families that are new to 4-H with their animal’ s shots or being given a budget to pick up livestock for families that aren’t available to do it themselves,” Jason Deming commented.

Having outgrown their space, they built a large pig and lamb barn with eighteen individual pens and two wash bays, a steer barn, and a show ring with the help of the involved families in 2015.

“Our kids never complain about chores because it’s a social time,” said Kelly Deming. “They’ve gotten a lot out of having other kids here; it gives them a chance to mentor younger kids and new members and teaches them leadership skills.”

In addition to leadership skills, 4-H instills in its members a sense of responsibility, work ethic, and demonstrates the importance of serving others. Whether they are a Clover Bud, ages six to eight, raising bum lambs or a Senior member with multiple animals, the expectation is the same when filling out paperwork such as their Project Journal, Market Project Record, or Breeding Record. Kids get an understanding of the expense vs. profit ratio and selling livestock can be a great way they can take an active role in adding to their college fund.

If you are interested in raising 4-H livestock on the Deming’s property, contact them at 406-480 -3239. 4-H members will need to come out at least three times a week during the school year to tend to their animal, five to seven days a week in June, and seven days a week beginning in July when they start exercising the animals. There is no boarding cost, but each family must provide their own feed.

“We understand that people get busy during the school year and we don’t mind helping out. 4-H takes dedication from the kids and the parents, so if they are willing to come out here, we are happy to have more families,” said Kelly Deming.


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