Head ’em up and move ’em out — “The Herd” is coming to El Dorado County businesses. Between May 10 and the advent of the El Dorado County Fair, June 12-15, local businesses are being given the opportunity promote their businesses, 4H and the County Fair by displaying animal cut-outs at their businesses for three days.
The Herd is the brainchild of 4H member Breanna Winter to build community awareness of 4H, increase attendance at the County Fair and create interest in the wide variety of 4H events there. Unlike an actual herd, this Herd doesn’t require food, water or a pooper-scooper and, after three days, it moves on.
The project has a bit of whimsy and a big sense of fun: You can order The Herd for your business, you can send The Herd to a fellow business associate or you can even purchase “Anti-Herd” insurance for protection from a Herd stampede at your business.
Herds come in four sizes: small — one animal for a $15 donation; medium — 2-3 animals for a $20 donation; large — 5-6 animals for a $30 donation, or a super-size herd of eight animals for a donation of $50. For businesses that want to participate but don’t have the room for a cutout, there is a Whole Herd Window Cling for a $20 donation. Herds come complete with lawn signs that announce the business has been “herded” by El Dorado County 4H and inviting people to come to the County Fair.
The wooden cutouts are purposely large — the pig is almost life-size while the cow is about the size of a Great Dane. “We wanted people to really see them — like the wheelbarrows on Main Street,” said Breanna. “I wanted them to say, ‘Whoa, what’s this?’ and then go inside the business to check it out.”
Herd animals come with mounting posts and, after three days on display, a volunteer will remove the Herd and take it to another business, so there is no storage to worry about.
Once the fair begins, the cutouts will be used to identify 4H activities at the fair. “4H isn’t just about livestock, so we have a jam jar for the Food Preservers, a rocket for the Rocketry group, a clover for other 4H projects and a rabbit/painter for the arts and crafts,” said Breanna. “A lot of people don’t know about some of the really fun 4H activities at the fair because not all of them get printed in the fair program — like the goat calling contest.”
Breanna, a 15-year-old freshman at Union Mine High School, has been a member of the Southside Top Notch 4H group for six years. She’s raised rabbits and other animals for Fair and will be showing her first calf with her brother, this year. She got the idea for the Herd from one of her brother’s Boy Scout projects. “We were trying to think of ways in my 4H group about how to work with the community to boost fair attendance and I thought about how the Boy Scouts do flamingoing,” she said.
The Scouts use flocks of pink plastic flamingos to raise money — people can send a flock to each other or buy protection from the flock.
“Eric Linville, the 4H Woodworking project leader, made the cows; Bill, one of our parent volunteers, made the pigs; and my dad made the 4H clovers,” said Breanna. “Lots of people are helping me, some with taking the Herd to businesses or taking them down. Spot on Signs donated the lawn signs. People are so excited about it that it makes me excited too.”
The money raised by the Herd will be used to fund scholarships for 4H camps and leadership conferences. “They are great learning experiences, but not everyone can afford to go,” said Julie Winter, 4H project leader and Breanna’s mother. “We want that leadership to come back into our community.”
Breanna, who has been to several Create a Leader conferences and State Leadership Conferences, said, “Kids should come try out 4H — you can connect with kids from all over the state and it’s so much fun and it’s inspirational, too.”
Already, she has orders for several super-size Herds to go out to businesses.
“This is really uniting the community and 4H and that’s what we want — business leaders are our mentors,” said Julie Winter.
The Herd is Winter’s 4H Emerald Star Project and was adopted by Leadership El Dorado Class 7, a local leadership class whose mission is to provide education and training to cultivate a diverse group of better skilled, highly motivated leaders with clear visions of how to lead the way to a healthier community.
The Herd will be out in full strength, on Saturday, May 10 at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds for Round-up. “Round-up is a great learning experience — we show the new people how to get ready and what to do for the fair and practice how to show our animals,” said Breanna.
“It’s from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” said Julie, “It’s 4H’s only fundraising event and we invite the public to come out and watch our pre-fair show, see the livestock and 4H projects, participate in the chili cook-off, the silent auction and the cake auction.”
Have you been Herded yet? Call 530-621-5503 or e-mail [email protected]
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.