Ag Expo brings fun and facts to Niobrara students

Students attending the Ag Expo watched a milking demonstration and learned about milk cows from Karlie Gruwell and Kitson Brown. Heather Goddard/Lusk Herald

LUSK – The annual Niobrara Cattlewomen’s Ag Expo Day was held on May 2 with 44 third and fourth graders. Every year the Cattlewomen sponsor a day of fun and learning working with several community individual and organizations to help education students in Niobrara county and the surrounding area about “The Facts of Ag”.
Students started their day with a milk cow workshop and the chance to see what it feels like to milk a cow using a demonstration udder. Students were then split into groups and rotated through stations. Members of the Rawhide FFA chapter helped supervise and get the students where they needed to be.
Brenna Brimer and LeAnn Dixon helped students create their own decorated cow tag key chains with brands or initials and talked about the importance and origin of branding animals. Kellie Chichester with the UW extension office and in conjunction with the UW lab brought in a  fistulated cow with a cannula and plug to help the students understand bovine digestion and GI systems.
Students also had the chance to “pull” twin calves at the cow station with Sara Sampers and Chelsea Baars from the Farm Bureau. An Ag scavenger hunt was run by Kimberly Nusbaum with FSA and Sarah Wick.
Students made “bread in a bag” with Cattlewomen Ronda Pfister and Anndee Meng and also participated in a role playing game about land use and conservation with Heidi Sturman from the Conservation District.
Lunch was beef tacos and nachos. Then it was off for an afternoon at the rest of the stations. They also learned about the beef industry and common myths about beef production. The day concluded with a presentation by John Graham about trapping and predator management as well as the fur industry. Graham discussed the history of fur trapping in the United States and modern day trapping.
Students left the expo with their arms full between the cow tag key chains, loaves of bread and goody bags. While the information is consistent the Cattlewomen work hard to make each year’s expo just a little different from the last so that returning fourth graders have the chance to learn something new.
The Niobrara Cattlewomen work hard to promote beef and ag facts and literacy. Their current officers are Sarah Wick, President; Kimberly Nusbaum, Vice President; Hillary Brown, Secretary and Anndee Meng, Treasurer. They accept new members at any time and the cost is $15 for local membership and $25 a year for state affiliation. Donations and membership requests can be sent to the Niobrara County Cattlewomen at PO Box 405 Lusk, WY. For questions you may contact any officer or message them through their facebook page.

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