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Animal-related career’s calling summer 4-H intern

Shelby Springman, an animal science major at UW-River Falls, is this summer’s intern in the Pierce County 4-H office. Springman comes from a family farm in Southwest Minnesota where registered shorthorn cattle are raised and the focus is on breeding. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

”Go east,” Shelby Springman was told.

That was advice from an advisor at the community college she attended in her native Southwest Minnesota and it referred to her then-future education plans. Now, Springman has not only found a college home at UW-River Falls, but will serve as the Pierce County 4-H intern this summer.

The incoming intern has extensive experience in 4-H, she said Friday.

“I’ve held various 4-H officer positions,” she said, listing county ambassador, member of several committees and even club president.

Her club back home in the area of Wilmot, Minn. (population 300), was the Elk Tiptoppers, she said. For its approximately 50 members, the Nobles County (Minn.) Fair in nearby Worthington, Minn., was an annual highlight. At the event during the second week of August, she showed sheep and cattle.

Her summers were devoted to training and getting the animals ready, she said, indicating the upcoming Pierce County 4-H internship will be her first.

The club started a judging team on which she participated, she said. She also joined in day camps and, after the county fair, continued to show animals on the state and national levels, at such places as Kansas City and Omaha.

“I enjoyed seeing the quality of the livestock,” she said.

Another opportunity for Springman to pursue her interest in animals came when FFA was offered to her as a high school sophomore, she said. Her school just joined with the FFA chapter in nearby Luverne, Minn., making it possible. She became a member of the general livestock judging team, assessing sheep, beef and swine, plus was an attendee at the annual FFA banquet as well as state and national conventions.

So it seems logical she would presently be majoring in animal science at UWRF, the “diamond-in-the-rough,” as the person recommending it to her had called it. She agrees with the high praise.

“There’s a lot of flat ground where I’m from,” she said, confessing an admiration for the campus here, with its beautiful trees.

For more please read the May 7 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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