Osceola youth take part in Cow Camp

MORLEY - It was hard work in the hot, humid weather that greeted a group of youngsters at “Cow Camp” recently, but they were up to the chores, and who wouldn’t be when they were dealing with “cute cows” as one little girl called them.

The “cute cows” are Highland Cattle, a breed dating back a thousand years ago, according to some references. And the cute kids were none other than youngsters from all over the place who met up at Sarns Resort near Morley and were a part of the Midwest Highland Cattle Junior Cow Camp in mid-July.

Mallory Tanis was selected as the national winner of competition which involved showing knowledge, interest, dedication, and planning for the raising of a donated Highland heifer. It involved family commitment as well, and Mallory was able to provide all the documentation needed to qualify her as the top national winner this year.

Eddie Mackay of Dundonald Highlands at Three Rivers donated the heifer, Roweena the 4th of Dundonald, to Mallory. As the two posed for pictures with the animal, it was hard to tell which was most pleased. MacKay said the youngster certainly was worthy of the prize. Mallory said she was so excited about winning, and was amazed at how quickly her prize animal responded to her. “I love it,” she announced, and Roweena nudged her in the elbow.

In addition to Mackay, who came to Cow Camp to make the presentation, were two national advisors, Sue Dyke and Valerie White.

Taking part were a dozen youngsters including (left to right in the front row in the group photo) Johnny Jenkins, Mary Muter, Dawn Manthei, Meri Wether Tanis, Joshua White, Jaelee White, Marla Muter, Jacob Jenkins and Mallory Tanis. Also participating were (back row) Miranda Battle, Ginny Miller, and Riley Tanis.

The weekend camp is offered to teach youngsters how to prepare their animals for the show ring, as well as stress such things as fitting, grooming, sportsmanship, and showmanship. In addition, they learn to bathe the animals and administer meds. The goal is to teach them skills that they can use as long as they continue to show animals, then perhaps be applied with their own families on their own farms.

They also learn the reasons why the Highland Cattle are considered quality animals to raise. In addition to being friendly, easy to tame, very intelligent, and easily trained, they are disease resistant. Flies do not lay eggs in the long hair covering their eyes and body, and they are lean beef. That thick hair also keeps them from producing the extra fat on their back, thus are lean beef. They are one of the only breed that do not need, by veterinary standards, a barn because the hair is so long it protects them throughout both the summer and winter months.

So, cute and taste good too. Michigan is said to have one of the greatest numbers of breeders in the U.S. which has several thousand head in the country.

Adult leadership included Evelyn Pruitt of Reed City and Dawn Manthei of Stanwood. In addition, some of the graduating juniors served as instructors and special helpers including Evan Erler of Reed City and Skyler Anderson of Irons.

Parent participation is required for youngsters taking part in the program.

Sarn’s resort donated the use of its facilities for the Cow Camp, and a number of other sponsors also were thanked, including Yoplait, Dean’s Milk, Osceola Highlands, Maple Hill Highlands, Lepley Land & Cattle, Tammi’s Ice Cream Parlor, Almosta Farms, Fieldstone Farm, and Nasco.