Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

July 16, 2013

4-H'ers prepare animals for fair

Diane Raver The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — The Franklin County 4-H Fair, Brookville, takes place the third week in July, but the work begins long before that for those youngsters taking livestock projects.

Four local 4-H’ers describe what it takes to prepare their animals for the fair.

Brothers Tanner, 16, and Hunter, 14, Kellerman, Oldenburg, have each entered two swine this summer. The sons of Diane Kellerman and Pete Kellerman are Super Kids 4-H Club members.

Tanner, a Batesville High School junior, says to care for the animals, “we walk them, make sure they have the right amount of feed and make sure they’re in good shape.”

His younger brother, a BHS freshman, reveals, “We spend time with them to calm them down and clean them up real good right before we bring them to the fair.”

Cousin John Werner, 15, Batesville, who is also taking two hogs, adds, “You have to let them get to know you and smell you by staying in the pen for a while.”

The son of Dan and Georgia Werner, a Batesville Middle School eighth-grader, says there are not really any challenges involved “unless they (swine) get sick.”

Tanner agrees, “It’s normally not too bad, except when we have to move 12 of them (the total number of hogs he, his brother and cousins are taking this year) and keep them in the same spot.”

Emily Koch, 12, Oldenburg, daughter of Jeff and Jill Koch, spends her time taking care of lots of creatures. She is taking two rabbits, four sheep, three cows, four pigs and one goat to Brookville.

To train most of the animals to be ready for the judging, “you have them tied up and walk them to water twice a day and also walk them around. You give them baths, which is fun, especially on a hot day.”

She thinks the most difficult aspect is “probably all the attention you have to give them.”

The St. Louis School seventh-grader’s favorite animals are cows. “I start them out as starter calves and bottle feed them .... I take them to the fair as calves and bring them again the next year as steer.”

The young lady believes the most rewarding aspect is “just being with them and getting them ready.” She also likes receiving ribbons and spending time with friends during fair week.

Hunter Kellerman points out, “Showing the pigs is pretty fun.”

Tanner Kellerman and Werner agree it’s also nice to get the money from the auction when the animals are sold.

Jeff Koch points out, “It’s just a neat experience for the kids to come out and see how livestock is raised.”

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.