In the basement of Heath and Aaron Geiman's house, a tiny black lamb is living in a cardboard box. His cries are like a baby's, but his kick is more powerful.
"He's got plenty of energy," Heath said, as the lamb jumped up like a puppy, begging somebody to lift him out of the box. Aaron reached down to stroke his head.
The lamb had been born six days earlier at less than half the normal weight. The brothers brought him inside to hand-feed him and keephim warm. He'll join the other lambs in the barn when the weather warms, Heath said.
During lambing season, the two brothers and theirparents, David and Becky, are busy day and night with the animals. Besides twice-a-day feedings, they often make 2 a.m. trips to the barnto check on the ewes, Mrs. Geiman said.
Heath, 18, and Aaron, 16, have been raising sheep for about eight years. They breed Suffolk sheep and plan to use the money they've earned from selling the meat and wool to help pay college bills. They also are raising two steers.
"They take it seriously," said C. Richard Weaver, an agriculture teacher and FFA adviser at North Carroll High School.
Future Farmersof America members at the county's five high schools are observing National FFA Week this week.
Weaver said FFA used to focus on traditional farming, but has changed as agriculture has changed. Projects now focus more on agriculture-related science and technology, he said.
Heath, a senior and president of the North Carroll FFA chapter, said he's planning a career in an agriculture-related field. He's been accepted to three colleges -- two in Iowa and one in Oklahoma -- tostudy animal science.
"I'd like to be an ag consultant," he said.He sees himself working for a feed company where he could advise livestock producers on the right feed mix for their animals.
Aaron, asophomore and FFA secretary, said he's interested in agriculture, but isn't ruling out a career in science or astronomy. He said he wouldlike to work for an observatory.
The brothers' interest in agriculture was handed down to them by their father, a Carroll County native who grew up around farms and worked on a dairy farm.
"I just liked it. I thought I'd get them into it," said their father, who works for a heavy equipment company.
Their mother grew up in Manchester "in town," Heath said, but has been converted to farm life.
"This was all new to me," she said. "We have to enjoy it, or we wouldn't have stayed in it so long."
The family has owned six acres on Band Hall Hill Road for 14 years, she said. The barn is a few steps from their back door.
The brothers are raising 60 to 75 sheep, which they'll show at the county 4-H fair and other fairs across the state thissummer. They'll also show their two steers at the fair and plan to sell them in the livestock auction.
The brothers spend several evenings a week at 4-H meetings or working on club projects. They belong to two clubs, Black Rock 4-H Club and the Carroll County 4-H Livestock Club.
On weekends, Heath keeps busy doing the things teen-agers do -- mainly hanging out with friends. Aaron, who will get his driver's license later this month, said they usually go to a dance on Sunday nights at an under-21 club in Hanover, Pa.
Asked if they've everblown any of the money they've earned from their animals, they said they might have bought an unhealthy lamb or two.
No cars? Trendy gym shoes? Most of their money goes toward buying more animals, Heath said.
"They're pretty conservative," their father said.
"They're hard-working. Both are dependable," Weaver said. "They lead by example."