MEADOWLANDS, Minn. — The North St. Louis County Livestock Committee hosted a cattle fitting clinic, open to all 4-H clubs in northeastern Minnesota. The clinic focused on fitting and showing of animals for livestock shows. Thanks to Liz Lignell who taught the attendees essential elements of fitting and showing.
Attendees learned how early in the year to start working with their animals. Showing cattle requires hard work and a large time commitment from youth. Attendees learned how to wash, condition, brush, dry and clip their animals. Tips on equipment to use to make the process enjoyable for youth and their livestock. Did you know there is a sweet spot that tends to calm down cattle when you brush on a certain part of their tail? Youth had hands on experience in all aspects of the fitting. They were able to wash cattle, dry them using blowers, hands on experience with using different types of clippers and taught techniques on how to brush and blow the hair to train it for showing. The clinic included clipping from the tail to the top of the head including the face. Youth also learned how to treat ring worm and warts on their cattle and the importance of treating these early.
Following the fitting, youth were educated on the essentials for showing cattle in the show ring. Ms. Lignell covered the types of halters, how to carry a comb into the show ring and when to use it. She further covered how to carry a show stick and the purpose of the show stick in the ring. Further education on the proper hand placement on the halter to maintain control of your animal and how to always show the best side of your livestock. Education on the proper foot placement of the cattle to showcase the animals’ quality and proper footwear and clothing for the youth to protect themselves from injury. Some of the youth, in addition to Ms. Lignell, put animals into a show ring and attendees learned how to line up their cattle, what the different line ups are and how to move up in line if an animal ahead of them is pulled out of line up by a judge.
Thanks to Liz Lignell for the education which received rave reviews from attendees. Thanks to Kelly Maly who hosted the event at her home. Thanks to the North St. Louis County Livestock committee youth who provided us with bars and cookies that they baked for the occasion. Thanks to the Arrowhead Regional Farm Bureau for a past donation that allowed us to buy equipment for the clinic. Thank you to Grass Meadows Farm, Walzak Farm and Allavus Farm for the use of additional equipment and animals to use for the clinic.
To learn more about 4-H in North St. Louis County, contact Extension 4-H Educator Nicole Kudrle at 218-749-7120 or firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the website, www.4-H.umn.edu.
— University of Minnesota Extension