Approximately 50 kids ranging in age from 6 to 18 attended the Indianhead Sheep Breeders Youth Clinic on Feb. 6 at the WITC Conference Center in Rice Lake.
The schedule of activities was designed and prepared by Chairperson Debbie Petzel. UW Extension Youth Livestock Specialist Bernie O Rourke and UW River Falls student Nathan Hanson led the sheep management sessions.
Session 1: Kids had a choice to attend a drop spindle/weaving class with Deb Jones, owner of the Fiber Garden, or a halter-making class with Amy Lee and Lindsay Anderson.
Session 2: Stations on sheep management basics, including low-stress sheep handling, moving sheep, restraining sheep; condition scoring sheep (how to tell if this walking ball of wool is thin, fat or just right); hoof trimming; injections (where and how to give them); and wool evaluation.
Session 3: Rotating sesesion on guardians of animal agriculture; selection and management; and showmanship and fitting
Session 4: Skillathon
After attending sessions on how to give vaccinations, feeding and managing body condition, fitting, showing, wool evaluation and general knowledge, the kids put their learning to the test.
They demonstrated proper technique in filling a syringe and injecting a (stuffed) sheep, did breed ID, completed an assessment of types of condition on sheep and how to best manage it, wool judging and a health knowledge test.
Winners received halters, feed pans and vouchers to be used on the purchase of a sheep at the ISBA Spring Sale on April 3 at UW-River Falls.
Senior Skillathon winners
·First place: Cami Subra
·Second place: Jackie Rosenbush
·Third place: Brook Peterson
·Honorable Mention: Kate Rosenbush
Junior Skillathon winners
·First place:Ashlee Podmolik
·Second place: Paige Subra
·Third place: Ann Boland
Also on Feb. 6, the Indianhead Sheep Producers Association presented two very special awards at the Shepherd's Clinic.
The Extra Mile Award goes to a member who goes above and beyond expectations to help the organization help the membership. The 2016 Extra Mile Award was presented to Chris Gregory. Chris has served as secretary, newsletter editor, provided equipment for the clinic each year and always is there for extra duties such as preparing for the clinic.
The Friend of the ISBA Award was presented to American Lamb Board. ALB has provided promotional materials for the clinic for many years. In 2015, ALB awarded a grant to ISBA for a lamb promotion booth at the Wisconsin State Fair. ISBA members Debbie Petzel and the Liddle Family worked the booth during the two weeks of the fair and provided materials and free coupons for ready to eat lamb at the WI Products Pavillion to thousands of visitors.