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On Sept. 18, the La Graciosa 4-H Club had a community meeting. The officers introduced the new members by buddying them up with returning members. Throughout the year, returning members will help the new members feel comfortable and show them what fun things they can do in 4-H.

Our president, Cole Collins, taught us how to give a presentation during community club meetings and primary members, ages 5-8, made a pumpkin decoration during our meeting. It was fun to see everyone back after the summer break.

The Wildlife, Poultry, Swine, Horticulture Projects met for their project meetings. At the Wildlife meeting, led by Rick Sacks, who is part of the Wildlife Care Network, we released five young opossums and a turkey vulture that were each hit by a car, but cared for and ready to be released back in the wild.

We also learned how owls digest their food by eating rodents, birds and other small animals, by regurgitating the bones, fur and feathers in a form of an owl pellet. We dissected owl pellets at the meeting.

At the Poultry meeting, we learned about husbandry, which is how to raise and care for a chicken, its diet and how the chicken digests its food. One of the activities we did is analyze chicken feed labels and determine the best diet for chicks vs. laying hens vs. roosters. We also found the percent of protein and ingredients in the food.

At the Swine meeting, we learned the best location to keep a pig and where a pig can be purchased for fair next year. An interesting fact that we learned is that a pig needs to eat three pounds of food to gain one pound of weight.

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Finally, at the Horticulture meeting, we had the opportunity to watch bulbs grow before our eyes by placing them and rocks into a glass bowl with water and watching them sprout over the next couple months. All and all, many of our members are excited to begin their 4-H activities this year.

La Graciosa 4-H members also enjoy participating in community events such as the Orcutt Chalk Festival in Old Orcutt on Sept. 29. We participated in drawing a picture in the square with chalk. Members gave out bags of 4-H stickers and tattoos, along with coloring pages and crayons. They represented 4-H by wearing their club T-shirt and speaking to people about what 4-H is all about.

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