Chatfield youth excited to ‘horse around’ at county fair

Upcoming sixth grader and Root River Rabbit 4-H Club member Samantha Baker is familiar with practicing in horse arenas and is taking a horse to the Fillmore County Fair as her project. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
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Chatfield News

It’s fair to say that Samantha Baker’s a Rabbit horsing around.

But this is her first time, so people have to get over any beef about it.

“This is my first year in 4-H, and I’m taking a beef and a horse,” stated the Root River Rabbits 4-H Club member, anticipating her first-ever trip to the Fillmore County Fair, from July 17 through July 22.

Baker shared that her animals are the reason she joined 4-H and going to the fair to show them in competitions is one of the things she’d like to do.

“I joined because I love my horse and I like competing against people and wanted to try taking a cow for the first time,” she said. “I’m kind of nervous and excited about showing…sort of so-so.”

The 11-year-old has been busy preparing for the moment when she’s in the show ring, working with her horse and her beef heifer every day.

“Every other day, I bathe my heifer, and I go on trail rides with my horse, walk him, go to horse clinics, blow my heifer off so she’s clean, and I have fun practicing,” she said. “I’m more used to dealing with horses — more horses than cows. My cow…I had to switch cows because mine was not behaving really well — the cow I have now is really calm, sweet and intelligent. She’s not a mean, kicking cow. She’s just a sweet, standing cow. I’m mostly ready for the fair. I know I’m ready to do the horse stuff, but not so much the cow stuff. But no worries.”

Young Baker aspires to become a veterinarian someday, so her experience caring for her animals may be put to good use.

“I want to be a vet, so this helps being around animals and not being scared. I like 4-H because I get to hang out with my animals, and I love my horses and cows.”

Baker added that she wants to go to the fair because her friends are all there, and she gets to be away from the farm for a week.

“I just like to go to the fair to watch other people and see what it’s going to be like for me, and my friends can teach me about stuff,” she added. “You have to be in the barns every hour or so just to check on your animals and clean stalls and feed the animals.”

Her favorite part of the fair is staying in the barns and hanging out with her friends and getting to see her grandparents.

“And I get to spend the week caring about my cow and horse,” she said. “And I like the food stands because there’s good food, and I like the projects that people make, and looking at all the horses and cows.”

She concluded that being a 4-H Rabbit is her kind of horsing around. “I get to hang out with animals. 4-H is a lot of fun because you’re hanging out with your friends, and I love my horses and cows.”