Freshman participates in 4-H program

Luther (right) helps his family raise livestock for the Summit County Fair.

Photo courtesy of Cody Luther. Used with permission

Luther (right) helps his family raise livestock for the Summit County Fair.

Michael McKee, Staff Reporter

The sharp morning air blows across Luther farms as the animals are fed, walked, cleaned and trained, as hay is baled, and vegetables are picked. This kind of schedule is not an easy one-waking up early every morning, going to bed late every night, working all day-one lived by Cody Luther.

Cody Luther, a freshman at Revere High School participates in 4-H which stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health, Luther also works on his family’s farm, Luther farms, to help take care of the livestock along with raising various animals for show such as cows, pigs, lambs, goats, turkeys and some chickens for the Summit County Fair.

According to Luther 4-H has been a global network of youth organizations that works to engage young people to reach their full potential in certain fields for many years.

“[4-H] is done through different clubs where kids can take part in projects of many kinds that include raising and selling livestock animals, making bakery style products, and growing produce. I have been showing since the summer of third grade that is about six years, but I have been around 4-H my whole life. I raise livestock that I show and sell for meat at the Summit County Fair. I have shown a variety of animals including pigs, goats, cows, lambs, turkeys and chickens as of this year,” Luther said.

Revere alumnus Andy Luther, Cody Luther’s brother, also went through the 4-H program when in high school and now works at Luther farms. Andy explained what 4-H is and how it helped him in what he does today.

“The program is designed to teach kids not just about their projects but how to achieve goals and become responsible which will rollover to your adult life no matter what line of work you are in. I have always known I wanted to be a farmer, [and] 4-H brought those dreams to a reality and had a huge impact on me reaching for them,” he said.

Luther’s mother Gale described how 4-H continues to be a great opportunity for her son.

“Cody has had an awesome opportunity with 4-H in so many ways. He has made some wonderful relationships with kids his own age, as well as adults.  He has to work hard on his projects if he wants to win in the end, and 4-H teaches all members the importance of responsibilities,” she said.

Luther enters animals into the Summit County Fair competition through 4-H. Before competition, farmers have to train their animals and clean them in order for the animals to be at their best. Luther describes the process for preparing the animals.

“Caring for our animals starts the day you get them which is different for each animal. We pick [cows] in November; lambs, goats, and pigs are picked out in April and May; and chickens are chosen in June. Caring for animals include making sure each animal has proper [food], water, bedding, and ventilation,” Luther explained.

The Summit County Fair competition starts in July and lasts for a couple of days. Luther explained the competition.

“Our competition is the Wednesday of the fair and is split into two different competitions focusing on different things. The first is showmanship, which is how well you work with your animal. The second is market, which is on who has the best animal,” Luther said.

Luther described the impact 4-H has and still does have on him.

“I am not quite sure what I want to do with my life, but the influence 4-H has had on what I and others like me is great, 4-H has not only help me plan for my future it has also helped me gain a new appreciation [for farmers], and I have gained pride in knowing that not too many other kids have the chance to take part in 4-H,” Luther said.

The moon now lights up the farm, as the hay is baled across the field and the cows are now quiet as they go off to sleep, the work is done for today but tomorrow it’s another early morning. Luther plans on continuing 4-H into his high school career while learning new things and meeting new people in order to have the career of his choice.