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Morro Bay 4-H Club seeking community support after their farm was destroyed by floodwaters

The Morro Bay 4-H Club’s participation in the California Mid State Fair is at stake now that their farm was flooded by the last week’s storms. They are asking for the community's help.
Posted at 5:17 PM, Jan 19, 2023

The Morro Bay 4-H Club’s participation in the California Mid-State Fair is at stake now that their farm was flooded by last week’s storms.

The club’s farm, located off Highway 1 in Morro Bay, is a special place for many people in the community.

“I used to keep my animals here when I was his age,” said Haley Foerst, the mother of a Morro Bay 4-H Club participant.

The Morro Bay 4-H Club is a youth leadership group for kids ages five to 19. Among the activities members participate in are growing crops and raising animals.

Aiden Foerst is a member of the Morro Bay 4-H Club and part of the poultry team.

“Getting them food and water, cleaning up their coops, getting their eggs, making sure there’s no mud that’s deep, and make sure they have a home to stay in,” Aiden explained.

That mud is part of the problem. The farm the club leases is still flooded.

“It’s so devastating. So many kids in our community depend on this farm,” Haley said.

During the storm on Jan. 9, 2023, club members were able to rescue 16 chickens.

“The 'great chicken rescue' but it was under water, and the water was coming in really fast,” Haley recalled. “It was just really quick. It was ‘catch them’; we had two crates, and they were all comfy cozy in there.”

They are glad those were the only animals on the property at the time.

“They are currently relocated in my garage in an old feed trough because we have nowhere for them to go,” Haley added. 

The club says it will cost more than $20,000 to repair the farm.

“Sadly, we won’t be able to use this farm until late in the spring when things dry out,” said Tammy Haas, Morro Bay 4-H Co-Community Leader.

They need all sorts of support such as helpful hands.

“Many loads of debris to haul off,” Haas said. “Fencing. I can’t even imagine how many feet of fencing and with the cost of materials these days.”

Material donations are also helpful.

“We’re going to have to replace these animal enclosures, our storage sheds that housed all of our materials,” Haas added.

The club urgently needs to find a temporary home for the animals.

“End of March, beginning of April is when large animals start coming back,” Haley explained.

“We have 14 youth that will need space for pigs, so that’s 14 hogs, five sheep, we have one beef project and 5 kids that will be raising poultry for the fair,” Haas said. “We also have a big garden. Well, we did have a big garden in the back. We had 12 kids that garden down here. ”

Without a dry farm to use, the club’s participation in the California Mid-State Fair this summer is in jeopardy.

“It’s hard. If we don’t have a place for them to go then they won’t be going to the fair. This is the only option for a lot of them,” Haley said.

If you are interested in lending a temporary spot to these kids or want to volunteer to clean up or make a donation, you can email the club at: morrobay4hclub@yahoo.com