MSU experts assist 4-H youth with State Fair preparation at livestock clinic

ESCANABA – Two MSU campus specialists traveled to Delta County to teach 4-H livestock exhibitors to be more successful in selecting, raising, and exhibiting their animals. Julie Thelen, state 4-H veterinarian science educator, and Adam Conover, livestock specialist, MSU Department of Animal Science, shared a wealth of knowledge through educational demonstrations and hands-on activities focusing on selection, care, and showmanship of beef sheep and swine.

In addition, a veteran steer showman, Brock May, was brought in to demonstrate award winning fitting techniques. May is a five-time champion exhibitor at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Youth participating in the two-day clinic held June 28 and 29 took part in activities focusing on animal evaluation, animal ethics, fitting techniques and showmanship. They explored marketing methods and calculating their break even price through a marketing game developed by local 4-H educator, Dave Radloff. They also received helpful hints for completing their market livestock record book, a requirement to sell their animal at the U.P. State Fair Market Livestock Auction which will be held Aug. 15.

The clinic concluded with a team fitting contest where youth worked in groups to prepare an animal for a mock show.

Generous contribution of animals by local 4-H members and leaders made the event a great hands-on experience. Beef animals included two of the three Kiwanis 4-H Heifer calves owned by Angel Klieman and Caitlyn Fishell, a steer and heifer from Scott and Bridgette Anderson, a steer from the Tony and Cheryl Carlson family, and a steer from the Charlie and Samantha Berube family. Bob St John, County Line Lamb leader and owner of Maple Lane Lamb provided sheep for the event. Laci and Heidi Mitchell supplied some rambunctious pigs to round out the animal roster.

The Livestock Clinic was sponsored by the Delta County 4-H Council and donations from the Jason Zawacki and Lloyd Johnson Memorial Funds.