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Interact-ing with animals

Lake Oswego service club for teens helps out at working farm right after taking finals


SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lake Oswego Interact Club members Greg Bisbjerg, Rachel Winningham and Radhika Subrahmanyan use straw to help build a piggery during a volunteer trip to Heart2Heart Farms.Lake Oswego Interact Club adviser Ted Ricks says his group of teens isn’t about to relax, even when the kids get the chance after slogging through finals week.

“What do four teenagers with the Lake Oswego Interact Club do” once finals are done? Ricks asked. “Head to a local, organic farm to volunteer for the day. That is what Rachel Winningham, Greg Bisbjerg, Radhika Subrahmanyan and Samantha Hoevet did on Friday, Jan. 29. They drove to Heart2Heart Farms (between) Sherwood and Newberg on a drizzly, rainy day to see what it was like to volunteer on a working farm.”

The club, sponsored by the Lake Oswego Rotary Club and Rotary International, includes more than a dozen students from Lake Oswego and Lakeridge high schools. By spearheading and participating in community service projects, young club members work to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Each month, the group chooses a charity, nonprofit or service opportunity in which to invest their time.SUBMITTED PHOTO - On a break, club members meet a calf. From left: Greg Bisbjerg, Rachel Winningham, Samantha Hoevet and Radhika Subrahmanyan.

The group voted in favor of the organic farm, which raises cows, chickens, pigs and horses and grows some produce. Club members decided to help out by hauling fencing material to build a Korean-style organic piggery, which uses bacterial enzymes to destroy animal waste and reduce odors. On breaks, the students added straw to existing pig pens and spent time with newborn calves.

“Happy, if straw-dust laden, with muddied boots and tennis shoes, the teenagers left Heart2Heart very tired but satisfied in doing their part on this working farm,” said Ricks, a Lake Oswego Rotary Club member.

For more information about Lake Oswego Interact Club, go to www.LOInteract.blogspot.com, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-744-0977.

— Jillian Daley