NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Emory Nager, 15, set himself up at the John Jay Homestead Farmer's Market on Saturday with a couple of signs promoting the North Salem 4-H Club , propped up near a table bearing a Petition to the Westchester County Board of Legislators .
Emory was soliciting signatures to ask the legislature to spare the 4-H Club from any budget cuts. It will be presented to County Executive Rob Astorino in September. "There is no indication that they plan to cut funds for the 4-H Club," said Emory, "but we're being pro-active."
The 4-H Club is chartered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and operates under the guidance of the Westchester Cornell Cooperative Extension. Emory is vice-president of the club. His brother, Cody, is president.
The North Salem club has 43 members, ranging in age from six to 18. The older members act as role models to the youngsters. Members come from as far away as Bronxville and Ridgefield, CT. The reason is that it is the only club in Westchester that deals with large animals, such as Southdown sheep, goats and Black Angus cows.
"The cows are bred for genetics, not for slaughter," Emory explained. Every year they get two new lambs from Muscoot . Usually the lambs are white, but this year's pair were brown and silver siblings, named Midnight and Baxter. The lambs came along for the John Jay event.
The club usually meets at Peter Kamenstein's Three Ponds Farm in North Salem and once in a while at Muscoot. They take field trips, participate in fairs, perform community service and, along the way, they develop personal skills such as public speaking.
Emory, who is going into ninth grade at North Salem High School, noted that Legislator/Majority Leader Peter Harckham (D-Katonah) has encouraged the club to become more involved in local government. "This petition and our appearance last year before the Westchester Board of Legislators budget hearing would not have been possible without him."
So far the club has collected 270 signatures. They hope to present Astorino with 1,000. Click here to sign.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.