Busy month for Big Horn County 4-H

From hosting special Ag Day events to attending judging events in Laramie and Colorado, it’s been a busy and very enjoyable month for Big Horn County 4-H, according to 4-H Educator Gretchen Gasvoda.

Six Big Horn County 4-H members — Emma Mercer, Morgan Haley, Addisyn Perkins, Kort Lewis, Thad Lewis and Morgan Love — returned home earlier this week from a trip to Brighton, Colo., for a Livestock Judging Contest. Joining them on the trip were Kelso, 4-H leader Becky Perkins and Bronson Smith, a Park County 4-H member.

“I couldn’t be more excited or proud of our Big Horn County 4-H members,” said Gasvoda. “Our trip had

Preparing to judge a riding class are (l-r) Cadence Workman, Makayla Workman, Karina Boreen, Addi Henson, Dailyn Zierolf, Kort Lewis and Morgan Love.
courtesy photo

many highlights, but getting to see President Trump’s plane in Cheyenne was a chance in a lifetime for all of us.

“It was fun to witness the seasoned members encouraging the younger members how to give reasons and place classes.  Our younger members look up to Emma, Morgan and Bronson through their multiple activities, which is refreshing to have positive role models.”

Bronson was eighth senior high individual in overall beef and Kort Lewis was 17th junior high individual in overall beef and first time judging.

“There were some tough classes, which helps season them for other contests,” said Kelso. “Best of luck at State FFA to Emma, Morgan and Bronson.  Big Horn County is excited to host a Livestock Judging Contest May 5, being a part of the UW 307 series.”

Ag Day

Big Horn County 4-H showcased individual projects and knowledge with more than 200 of the county’s second and third graders during an Ag Day event March 15. Youth, parents, chaperones and teachers experienced hands-on activities at 14 learning stations.

Opportunities to learn about furs, ruminant large animals, judging lambs, branding livestock, ear notching swine, many hats of agriculturalists, dirt babies, Cent$ible Nutrition smoothies, noxious weeds, chickens, goats, rabbits and wool were presented at 15-minutes rotations.

The UW 4-H program partnered with multiple agencies and volunteers to make this event a success. They included Big Horn County Weed and Pest, Wyoming Game and Fish, UW Sheep Specialist Whit Stewart, UW Southwest Area Educator Hudson Hill, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation District, Paintrock FFA Chapter, Shell Rough Rider 4-H members, Swinging Clover 4-H members, Lil Gunners 4-H leader, 9er’s 4-H members and UW Cent$ible Nutrition Educator Kristy Michaels.

Utilizing the indoor arena was perfect for this event ~ rain or shine.


The evening of March 15, UW Big Horn County hosted the 4th annual Extravaganza.

Over 100 people wandered through booths comprised of livestock automatic water systems from Flitner Ranch, Big Horn County Public Health, Big Horn County Weed and Pest, Bureau of Land Management, UW Northwest Area Educator Caitlin Youngquist, UW Sheep Specialist Whit Stewart, UW Southwest Area Educator Hudson Hill, Powell UW Research Center, UW Cent$ible Nutrition Program, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Farm Credit Service.

Whit Stewart drew a large crowd with his hands-on presentation on parasite detection and efficient treatment for sheep.

“Thank you to Veda Gerrard for donating the demonstration sheep,” said Kelso. “Hudson Hill’s presentation and demo of learning the updated detailed process of butchering chickens was the other show stopper. Hudson demonstrated the entire process of killing, dipping, utilizing the chicken plucker and processing a chicken.  Thank you to Brenda Miller for donating four chickens to showcase this quick process in butchering chickens.”

If anyone is interested, Big Horn County Extension has a chicken plucker that can be rented by calling 307-765-2868.  Videos of the sheep and chicken demos are available on Gasvoda’s Facebook page if you are interested in watching them.  UW Northwest Educator Bart Stam shared results from a survey UW is working for predator control, and Camby Reynolds from UW Research and Experiment Center in Powell shared updates and current projects.

The evening was topped off with a delicious dinner of beef, pork and Keith Hamilton lamb kabobs prepared by some awesome volunteers:  Donna Dalin, Rylie Fordyce Edelman, Sandy River and Kristy Michaels.  “Building 400-plus kabobs can be overwhelming unless you have a crew like this to share laughs and old time stories with, as well as build new friendships.  Thank you to Todd Dalin for cooking the kabobs perfectly.  Thank you to Dusti Tryon for putting our baked beans together during the Ag Day.  I truly am blessed with amazing volunteers and co-workers,” said Kelso.

Horse Judging Academy

New learning adventures were on the schedule for seven 4-H members and Gasvoda March 24-25.

UW Horse Judging Coach Jenny Ingwerson and her judging team hosted a Horse Judging Academy.  The knowledge the youth gained can be utilized not only in judging contests, but in their own riding skills and competitions.  “It was exciting to travel with these kids, witness their excitement and hear their skills put to work,” said Gasvoda. “Only one member had ever judged before, Karina Boreen, with the other six — Cadence Workman, Makayla Workman, Kort Lewis, Morgan Love, Dailyn Zierolf and Addi Henson — being fresh to the new experience.

“It will be exciting to watch these kids grow and judge at contests in the future.”

Shooting Sports

Sean Foote, a key shooting sports leader, has started shotgun practice as well as .22 rifle and pistol on altering Monday evenings starting at 6 p.m. at the Greybull/Basin Gun Range.  Archery leaders Sarah and Dan Holloway host practice every Wednesday. From 5:30 – 6:00, it’s for Cloverbuds (6-7 year olds) only. Older 4-H members (8 to 18) practice from 6 p.m. until finished.

Youth have to be signed up online for the current 4-H year to participate.

If you are interested in joining 4-H, contact Gasvoda at 307-765-2868.