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Getting fair season started – Webster County

By Staff | Jul 17, 2009

Brett Horswell, 10, of Charelston, W. Va. left, talks cattle with Carson Walrod, 10, of Moorland, at the Webster County Fair Friday afternoon. Walrod, a member of the Callender Chargers 4-H Club took first place in the Limosine Heifer class .

Although the wet weather that rolled through the area last week may have put a damper on a few of the activities, there were still plenty of ribbons handed out, champions named and fun had last week at the Webster County Fair.

Linda Cline, Iowa State University Extension county youth coordinator, said the cool, rainy weather might’ve hurt some of the fair board’s activities, but Saturday ended up being a beautiful day that kept the crowd hanging around the fair.

“It wasn’t too hot so people could sit and relax and just bond as a 4-H family,” said Cline.

Cline said she and the fair board relies heavily upon the help of the volunteers that give their time each year to help out.

“All of my volunteers are super and it couldn’t happen at all without them,” said Cline. “I hope all of the parents appreciate the work the volunteers did.”

Nicole Licht, 15, of Clare, gets a kiss from Sassy, her miniature horse, in the horse barn at the Webster County Fair Friday morning. Licht, a member of the Johnson Jaguars, will show the horse in the 4-H horse show Saturday.

Cline said she has seen an increase in one particular project area this year – photography.

A total of 621 photos were entered at the Webster County Fair and says this increase is most likely due to the digital age of photography.

“Photography is fun for 4-H’ers to do and the digital technology world has totally changed and affected that project area,” she said.

Another project area gaining in projects is communications, which includes presentations, working exhibits and Share the Fun.

“We had over 35 percent of the kids that are signed up for 4-H in Webster County enter communication projects,” Cline said. “I’m proud of that because communications will be used later in life in one form or another.”

Katie Weeks, a third-year veterinary medicine student at Iowa State University tests to see if a tracheal tube was inserted correctly on a stuffed dog during Vet Camp at the Webster County Fair Friday morning. The camp was held in conjunction with the fair to introduce middle and high school students to veterinary medicine.

Livestock shows continue to be a big part of the Webster County Fair and a tradition for many families.

Incentives to show pigs

Cline said that in an effort to promote more youths to show swine at next year’s fair the Webster County Pork Producers will be offering a monetary incentive for the first time.

Some of the grand champion winners this year, Cline said, included Mariah Welter of the Gowrie Groundbreakers 4-H Club taking home champion market lamb and champion purebred ewe; and Raechel Spangler, with the Nifty Newark 4-H Club, earning champion commercial ewe.

Daniele Eslick, with the Dayton Tigers 4-H Club, was awarded with grand champion market hog; and Rex Miller, a Prairie Valley FFA member took champion market gilt honors.

Grand champion market beef went to Haleigh Patterson, of the Dayton Tigers 4-H Club; and Alex Alliger’s heifer was named champion market heifer. He’s a member of the Gowrie Groundbreakers.

Clint Denklau, with the Badger Builders, showed the champion pigeon; Nolan Mitchell, of the Washington Winners, took champion chicken honors; and the champion waterfowl prize went to Cheyenne Jones, of the Country Charmers.

Contact Kriss Nelson at jknelson@frontiernet.net.

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Getting fair season started –Webster County

By Staff | Jul 17, 2009

Kim VanDriel, Iowa Veterinary Medical Association's summer intern and a third-year veterinary student at Iowa State University, provides students a quick lesson of the anatomy of a pig. She is the coordinator for the several vet camps being held at county fairs this summer.

Approximately 20 junior high through high school students attended Thursday the Webster County Fair to further explore their dreams of becoming veterinarians.

The Iowa Veterinary Medical Association has been presenting a series of vet camps throughout the state at county fairs and at the annual 4-H conference held in Ames last month.

Cyndy Bolsenga, executive assistant at IVMA, said the vet camp is free to students that wish to attend. They get hands-on opportunities to explore their goals of becoming veterinarians some day.

Presented by the IVMA, Bolsenga said the vet camps are also sponsored by the North Central Iowa Veterinary Medical Association and the Eastern Iowa Veterinary Medical Association.

During the 2008 Iowa State Fair, the IVMA held vet camps that Bolsenga said were well attended. With participants’ feedback, it was decided to take the camps on the road to seven different county fairs this year.

Molly Hiveley, left, and Danielle Koester, both of Fort Dodge, take their turn learning how to wrap a dog's leg on a model during vet camp held last week at the Webster County Fair.

“It’s a way of getting high school students that have an interest in veterinary medicine to get more interest and more information about becoming a veterinarian,” said Bolsenga.

Not only do the students get hands-on experience, they get a chance to talk with veterinarians, vet technicians and vet students.

Kim VanDriel, an IVMA summer intern, and a third-year veterinary student at Iowa State University, is coordinating the vet camps. VanDriel said that although the camps are actually geared toward youths aged 12 and up.

VanDriel said that at each vet camp she likes to have at least three veterinary students, as well as three local veterinarians or vet techs to conduct the sessions.

VanDriel noted the youths get to know the veterinarians in their area as well as giving veterinarians a chance know students in their region who are interested in following in their footsteps.

Anthony Butler, Rachel Pugh and Emilee Mobley, all from Fort Dodge, learned how to properly administer subcutaneous and intramuscular shots by practicing on bananas during vet camp held last week at the Webster County Fair.

This networking opportunity is beneficial, VanDriel said, to the students because working at a veterinarian clinic can make it easier to getting accepted into vet school.

“Even if it means you clean out kennels, getting a job at a veterinarian’s clinic is a good place to start,” said VanDriel.

Vet camp lasts for three hours with three one- hour sessions that focus on pet first aid; fresh pathology, diseases, injections; and learning how to do a hands-on physical exams.

Live animals were available for attendees to practice examinations – usually dogs, or even goats.

Katie Weeks and Kate Mueller, both third-year vet students at ISU were on hand to assist the camp last week.

The women presented the session on pet first aid, included animal CPR, bandaging, drawing blood and reading x-rays.

Danielle Koester, from Eagle Grove, and Molly Hiveley, from Fort Dodge, attended vet camp and assisted each other on practicing how to properly bandage and wrap a dog’s leg on a model.

“I really want to be a vet when I grow up,” said Koester.

“My mom saw it in the paper and thought it would be fun for us kids,” said Hiveley.

Bobby Heun, of Webster City, teamed up with Cody Anderson, of Barnum, when it came time to wrap the model’s leg.

“I came to see if I’m interested in becoming a veterinarian,” said Anderson.

“I’ve been looking at becoming a vet, so far at the camp today I’ve liked looking at the intestines and practicing giving shots,” said Heun.

Kimberly Shimkat, DVM, with Family Pet Medical Center in Fort Dodge, took the morning away from her clinic to talk to demonstrate an overall physical exam and talk about canine anatomy.

“This has been fun and neat exposing the kids to all sorts of veterinary medicine,” said Shimkat.

During her session, Shimkat showed the students how to listen to a dog’s heart using a stethoscope, explained the capillary refill time in a dog’s mouth, how to look for tarter on teeth, explained bone anatomy and let the students practice with a Doppler machine on their own hearts.

VanDriel presented the students with a short lesson on fresh pathology and anatomy that included looking at the actual organs of a pig from the beginning to the end, a horse heart, an actual heart full of heartworms and instructed them on how to give subcutaneous and intramuscular shots to bananas.

Anthony Butler, of Fort Dodge, said he enjoyed the pathology part of vet camp, while a few others might’ve got a first-hand experience that becoming a vet just wasn’t for them when it camp time to look at pig organs.

“I liked feeling the guts, they felt weird,” said Butler. “I came today because I love animals and I have two bunnies and a lot of fish at home. So far I’ve learned I need to separate my bunnies because one has a sore and I don’t want them hurting each other.”

VanDriel will move the vet camp to the Woodbury County Fair on Aug. 8.

Registration has been down a bit at the fairs where she’s held camps, but said she hopes next year word will get out and even more camps can be held.

“We’re avoiding vet camp at the Iowa State Fair this year,” VanDriel said. “We feel that we can reach out to more kids in the rural areas by attending county fairs.”

Contact Kriss Nelson at jknelson@frontiernet.net.

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