4-H members show state leaders how to put on a show

Andrea Johnson/MDN ABOVE: North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goering speaks with Anna Petersen, Bowbells, a Ward County 4-H member, on Friday during a meet and greet for the 4-H Showmanship event.

State leaders learned how to show livestock from the future leaders of 4-H on Friday at the North Dakota State Fair.

“This cow is here to win!” said Wilton Henke, Center, a member of the Oliver County 4-H Organization. He was showing Jim Rostad, a Ward County commissioner and president of the Minot Public School Board, how to show Samantha, a winter heifer Holstein cow, to best advantage.

Henke said a showman should aim to keep Samantha’s head up in the ring and her spine straight and make her look stylish and angular.

Henke said he has been training the cow for months.

The North Dakota State University 4-H Showmanship event paired 4-H members from across the state with college presidents, state legislators and government officials.

“The overall objective is to connect today’s leaders with tomorrow’s leaders,” said Kurt Froelich, NDSU Extension Agent for Stark and Billings Counties.

Froelich said the event also shows the state leaders just how hard the 4-H members work. The young students also gain poise and communication skills and make conversation with leaders like Sen. John Hoeven, who also was scheduled to participate in the event.

Doug Goehring, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, has past experience with 4-H and with showing animals but said he was prepared to listen to just how his young partner told him to show the livestock.

NDSU President David Cook said his main goal was to beat his wife, who was also participating in the event and has past experience showing livestock.

The students had a meet and greet with the state leaders and then had about an hour to show them the ropes in the livestock barns before the state leaders were called upon to show off the animals in the ring.


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