Award-winning Foaling Around with Wisconsin program engages 4-H’ers

When 4-H activities were limited to online learning due to the pandemic, Katie Stenroos, Evan Henthorne and Casie Bass collaborated with students to provide 4-H members with an innovative virtual educational experience.

And for their efforts, the trio of Northwest Wisconsin natives recently received the Wisconsin Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (WAE4-HYDP) Collaboration/Partnership Award and Excellence in Programming Award from animal science for the “Foaling Around With Wisconsin 4-H” program.

Stenroos, Wisconsin 4-H Program Educator – Douglas County, Henthorne (Wisconsin 4-H Program Educator – Adams and Bass County, Associate Professor of Animal and Food Science at University of Wisconsin-River Falls, developed the “Foaling around with Wisconsin 4-H”, which was facilitated by students of the Bass’ Equine Reproductive Techniques course.

The program offered 4-H participants the chance to follow Kitty, a brood mare owned by UW River Falls, through her gestation and foaling.

According to Bass, every two weeks during the spring semester, 4-H attendees watched a short informative horse video prepared by his students. The following week, 4-H members were able to connect live with Bass and his students at the UWRF campus farm.

In addition to the educational opportunity for 4-H members to interact with students, students at UW River Falls benefited from a teaching experience created through this class-led extension project.

During the semester, university students discussed topics and answered questions related to equine nutrition and reproduction, basic equine management, and the physical and behavioral changes Kitty went through throughout her gestation. .

Towards the end of the semester, attendees were able to watch a video of Kitty delivering her foal, a healthy foal. Additionally, 4-H students completed worksheets covering the information they were learning during the semester.

Leading 4-H participant Jax Zajec earned the right to name Kitty’s colt and meet Stenroos, Henthorne and Bass, along with some students, in person. Additionally, Jax and his siblings were able to meet Kitty and her foal, Klover, in person.

Both Stenroos and Henthorne are alumni of UW-River Falls, where they earned animal science degrees with a focus on equine science and agricultural education.

“Foaling Around with Wisconsin 4-H,” which took place over 12 weeks in the spring of 2021, was the first statewide, semester-long program to invite all young Wisconsin 4-H participants. H.

For more information about the “Foaling Around with Wisconsin 4-H” program, contact Casie Bass at [email protected]

Amber Burke can be reached at [email protected]

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