“Peyton has taught me a lot,” was the first thing Tynan Froman, 14, said when her brother, Peyton Froman, 16, came in from football practice.
“Four-H teaches responsibility and commitment,” said Peyton. “You don’t think of it that way, but that’s what it is, when you feed, lead and show your animal, but so much more than that.”
Do the animals ever get sick?
“Yes, they do," Peyton replied. "Then you have to look at withdrawal time - before you can give them another shot.” Further, he added, “You can’t show them when they are sick and lethargic, but just a little sneeze or cough is OK.
“We’re always busy,” said Peyton. “You have about a month between the time you sell your animal and the time you get a new one in October. You want to go right to breaking them.
“When I first started, I waited too long and had trouble, and I’m a pretty big kid. They butt you with their head.”
Four-H'ers have to have a routine and stick to it.
“We feed at 5 a.m. every morning and 7 p.m. at night, after we walk and blow them off and rinse them, which takes 45 minutes to an hour every night, before you soak them and let them go eat," said Peyton. "Having a good routine just makes you want to do it more.”
The 4-H market animals bring a good price at the end of the season at the Arkansas Valley Fair due to the organizational work of the Ordway Buyers’ Club, WW Feeds and other individuals and businesses that chip in every year.
Asked if the money from the sale helps with the expenses of raising the animals, Peyton and Tynan mother, Marline Froman, said, “Usually, but last year Peyton bought a pickup with his money.”
“And I’ll have it running by the time school starts,” he said. “I haven’t had much time, with my steer and football practice and all, no time to work on it.”
The kids attend the Wild Things 4-H Club in Ordway, where their grandparents live and where they first moved when they came here from Wyoming. They go to school in Rocky Ford and live in La Junta, so there’s quite a bit of driving around for them.
Marline Froman said she sends them to Rocky Ford because it’s smaller than La Junta, and they were used to a very small school in Wyoming.
Their dad, Robby Froman, is buying WW Feeds with his partner, Ryan Davis, from Curt and Susan Russell, who are retiring.
At Crowley County Days, Tynan received first place and Reserve Grand Champion for Showmanship, first place in her weight class of market steer, and third in the champion drive (top steers in each age group).
Livestock is not Tynan's only pursuit in 4-H. She has also done baking and has embroidered a dress.
Wild Things is sponsored by Robby Froman and is co-sponsored by Rebecca Griffin.
"Four-H is an amazing program," said Peyton. "We all work together to wash, groom, clean pens and help one another."