After a decade of utilizing the San Joaquin County Office of Education school site on Airport Way, the Durham Ferry 4-Hgroup is being forced out due to renovations and expansion that will encroach on its current facility.
And it isn’t easy finding a new place that they can raise, tend to and care for animals year-round.
“We’re really looking into finding a place here in Lathrop where we can move,” said group advisor Jacqueline Babel. “We grew up here and it would be nice to find a place here that we can call home. We definitely want to move to Lathrop over other cities.
“But there’s a lot that goes into it.”
Babel started her career in 4-H when she was an 8th grader. As a college student, she now advises those that are new to the program – teaching the leadership skills and the confidence-building tools that’s he herself got from the program during her years of involvement.
She never quite got to the point of showing animals. Attachment came easy to her and she left the fair judging aspect of the organization to her younger sister Mariah – who placed fifth this year in the turkey category at the San Joaquin County Fair.
“I like it because it helps us young adults learn a lot,” Mariah Babel said. “The older kids help the younger kids and that really teaches us a lot while we’re raising our animals. That’s the fun part of this – especially when you go to the fair.”
So she helped out with the bunnies and the goat project and helped advise whenever she could, picking up skills that she’d be able to apply in school and life in general. She’s now a sophomore in college.
“I think that a lot of kids can get a lot out of the program,” she said. “It teaches responsibility, and it’s a lot of fun in the process. We want to make sure we have a place that we can continue doing this.
“We have to start moving out soon.”
Babel says that anybody with any information about possible spaces that the group can utilize for storing their animals and possibly even holding meetings can call Fay Babel – the group’s Community Club Leader – at 983-9430.