Baby goats reign over Lander yoga classes

Kinsley McClung has a visitor pass by while she and her mother, Jennifer, participate in a goat yoga class.

Let’s get the 800-pound gorilla out of the barn first – the 25-pound-or-so baby Boer goats ruled the yoga classes.

The white-and-brown smile makers were snatched up before and after the two goat yoga classes west of Lander in April and hugged and caressed, with yoga goers closing their eyes during the snuggles and then the goats closing THEIR eyes and drifting to sleep – or at least into a pretty high level of being centered.

Goat yoga was new to Lander – maybe to most of Wyoming – with University of Wyoming Extension educator Laura Balis proposing goat yoga as a fundraiser for the Fremont County 4-H Program. The sessions raised $686 ($250 from sponsors and $436 from participants).

Baldwin Creek Boers provided its barn.

Each baby goat was hoisted over a gate from the corral into the barn area converted into the yoga site, and participants brought their own mats to lie on the large blue tarp covering the dirt floor. Yoga practitioners followed session leader Jackie Lauer as inquisitive baby goats nibbled hair (smiles), walked between limbs (smiles), nuzzled against faces (smiles), and generally made themselves available to anyone (more smiles).

Baldwin Creek Boers’ Terrill Weston said they volunteered the facilities to help 4-H’ers. “I’m a UW grad and want to help out the extension folks anyway we could,” he said.

Becca Cross of Lander had just finished the first session and like many others stood holding a pretty-relaxed-looking baby goat.

“I feel lighter and giddier,” she said. “This is the most I’ve laughed in a yoga class. This was perfect. Just really light, a good class but entertaining, too, just to watch the goats. The baby animals make you smile.”

One woman with a friend was snuggling a baby goat (the baby goat, eyes closed, absorbing the hug) prior to the start of the first class. “I want one,” she soundlessly mouthed to her friend.

Cory Daly of Riverton liked the addition of goats to yoga.

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Wyoming 4-H’er wins Denver stock show catch-a-calf competition

4-H'er Kyle Despain of Laramie receives the grand champion catch-a-calf flag from National Western Stock Show CEO Paul Andrews.
4-H’er Kyle Despain of Laramie receives the grand champion catch-a-calf flag from National Western Stock Show CEO Paul Andrews.

An Albany County 4-H’er won the Catch-A-Calf competition Sunday, Jan. 7, at the National Western Stock Show, Rodeo and Horse Show in Denver.

Kyle Despain of Laramie and his market steer entry competed against 34 other 4-H’ers and entries from Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming.

Despain attends Laramie High School and is the son of Becky and Johnathan Despain. He is a member of the Critter Creek 4-H Club.

“I can tell you he is one of the nicest, most humble young men,” said Mary Louise Wood, Albany County 4-H educator. “He’s always willing to help others and is a true hard worker. He is a great representative of what the Catch-A-Calf program is all about.”

The market animals are judged on rate of gain, quality of fitting and carcass quality, according to stock show information. The exhibitor is judged on showmanship, their record book and a personal interview.

Despain caught a calf during a rodeo performance at last year’s show. He brought home a Hereford steer in May and has fed and raised the animal since then. His responsibilities included writing monthly letters to his sponsors and completing a record book. He submitted the book at the stock show and competed in an interview with judges. His sponsors were Jeff Vogel of Vogel & Associates of Denver and Rawah Ranch in Colorado.

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Diversity efforts earn Crook, Weston County 4-H educators extension honor

Stacy Buchholz

4-H educators in Crook and Weston counties were recognized by the University of Wyoming Extension for their diversity education efforts.

Stacy Buchholz in Weston County and Sara Fleenor in Crook

Sara Fleenor

County received extension’s Diversity Enhancement Award during the organization’s training conference in December on the Laramie campus.

The two worked with teen 4-H leaders to create workshops and menu ideas that incorporated cultural diversity at the Crook-Weston County 4-H Summer Camp.

4-H’ers were able to experience different countries and learn about cultures, global challenges and participate in hands-on activities while they learned.

Buchholz joined extension in 2008 and Fleenor in 2012.

4-H educator begins Jan. 8 in Lincoln County

Shaily Harshbarger is the new 4-H educator in Lincoln County.
Shaily Harshbarger is the new 4-H educator in Lincoln County.

Shaily Harshbarger will begin as the University of Wyoming Extension 4-H educator in Lincoln County Monday, Jan. 8.

Harshbarger will be in the Lincoln County Extension Office in Kemmerer.

A 2017 graduate of Kansas State University, she holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science with an emphasis in business and a minor in business. Harshbarger interned with the University of Wyoming Extension 4-H Program in Lincoln County in 2016.

She has been involved in 4-H and FFA programs in which she participated in livestock, dairy and horse judging in addition to a variety of leadership roles.

4-H military youth educator begins Nov. 13 in Laramie County

Kristi Nagy begins Nov. 13 as the 4-H military youth educator in Laramie County.
Kristi Nagy begins Nov. 13 as the 4-H military youth educator in Laramie County.

A 4-H military youth educator will begin Monday, Nov. 13, in the Laramie County office of the University of Wyoming Extension.

Kristi Nagy has been the senior 4-H administrative assistant in the Laramie County extension office for three years.

“This experience gives her the knowledge and background to take on a new challenge within the extension program,” said Kim Reaman, UW Extension federal relations and staff development coordinator.

Nagy has 10 years’ experience with the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver where she managed eight school-age childcare sites. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix and an associate’s degree in early childhood education from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo.