COW CAMP 2016
COW CAMP 2016 has come to an end. It was a busy camp this year with kids from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Michigan. Every day was jam packed with activities.
Sue Dyke showed up on Wednesday afternoon. Cows were unloaded, and settled in. After the cows were settled, the kids started washing and blow drying cows.
Wednesday evening Dr. Todd Miller was scheduled to implant an embryo. We pulled CIDR's on three cows we were synchronizing to breed on Saturday.
Thursday the obstacle course was partially set up. There was a storm predicted for overnight, so the giant tarp was added on Friday morning. The kids started working through the course with their cows. We had the kids collect a fecal sample on their cows. We had the privilege to have Dr. Dwight Bowman, professor of Parasitology at Cornell University, come and talk to the kids. We examined their cows sample and discuss what was found. The kids all had the chance to examine the eggs found in the microscope. There was a chance for anyone who wanted to learn to pan for gold with the help of Chris Manthei and Chip Marsden to teach them their technique. In the evening the kids then inflated the Tahitian island and went to the pond to swim and socialize on the island.
Friday morning started with the arrival of the last cows and kids. Sue Dyke demonstrated the proper way to load and tie the animals in the trailer. A never previously loaded animal was used for the demonstration and surprisingly walked right into the trailer. We were hoping for a bit of a struggle.
Our project for this year was building short lead ropes. The kids and adults learned to weave rope. Our instructor Ginny Miller went over some great charts she had. The kids learned the parts of the body of their cows, and charts were present that showed proper leg structure as well as poor leg structure. After Ginny was done with the kids they played a game of COW CAMP pictionary.
Sue Dyke started drivers education. All the kids went out to the course in small groups. Sue as well as all the kids came back smiling so it must have went well! The evening finished off with farm kid volleyball, where the gates for the arena were used as a volleyball net. The competition was fierce! A bonfire was enjoyed, then it was off to bed to get ready for Saturday.
Saturday mornings activities began with Ginny using a live cow and reviewing the parts of the animal. When that was done the kids were split into teams of two and given lead ropes for each pair. They took turns being the showman and the heifer. Ginny worked with them on making a smooth transition from walking to a stop and setting up their calf. They also practiced walking the animal in to a set up position. When Ginny was done with that she took small groups of kids with their calves to the ring and worked on Showmanship. Lunch time came, and we took a break from showmanship and had lunch.
I would like to thank the Ripka family, Chuck Hoffman and his grand daughters and Rick Milliman and Roxanne for bringing Eddie Mackay to the picnic. It was greatly appreciated that you came and spent some time with the kids and supported them and this event! After lunch showmanship was finished and then the squirt guns came out. The kids battled for the better part of an hour. When the kids were thoroughly soaked, they dried off, and went back to showmanship. This time instructor Ginny was armed with a squirt gun. She did say it was difficult to catch them in mistakes to give her a reason to squirt them. Onward we went to the fishing contest. Fish were caught and the kids had fun. Kaleigh Raschka was the winner with the biggest fish! Dr. Todd Miller talked about artificial insemination and the kids put gloves on and had the opportunity to practice placement of the AI gun using real reproductive tracts from females that had been butchered. The fish fry was cooked, and everyone filled their bellies, then off to have Dr. Ashley Miller do a demonstration on acupuncture and acupressure, as well as chiropractic adjustments on one of my cows that had injured herself. The final learning experience of the day was when Dr. Todd Miller performed the artificial insemination of the cows.
COW CAMP was longer than normal this year, and tons of learning was available. I hope the kids enjoyed themselves, and plan to return to attend next year's camp! Thank you to all of our help, you know who you are.. you helped to make everything run smoothly!