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Sherri Richards, Published September 12 2010

Moos, ewes and oohs: NDSU makes animal science accessible

Lilja Jurva twirled the lasso around and around before snagging her target – a metal long-horned steer painted green and gold.

Her grandfather, Bernell Asheimash of Buxton, N.D., brought 8-year-old Lilja and her 9-year-old cousin, Benjamin, to the Moos, Ewes and More event Saturday at the North Dakota Horse Park in north Fargo.

In addition to the lasso demonstration, sheep were shorn and cows milked. Wool was spun into yarn with foot-pedal spinners. Pregnant ewes were given ultrasounds. Kids could pet horses, calves and a day-old sheep. The little lamb added plenty of “oohs” to the moos and ewes.

“When you grow up with it, milking and everything, you take it for granted. You realize, gosh, these kids haven’t seen anything,” Asheimash said.

Saturday’s event was sponsored by the Department of Animal Sciences at North Dakota State University with the hope of reconnecting the public with agriculture, said Erika Berg, an assistant professor of equine studies.

“Really, our goal is to showcase what we do here in animal science,” she said. “Agriculture is really a vital part of our economy here in the state of North Dakota. It is a part of people’s everyday lives, whether they realize it or not.”The Department of Animal Sciences has just over 300 students in its three majors.

Charlie Stoltenow, Extension veterinarian, said the event was also a chance to be a “good neighbor” to area residents. The group hopes to hold the event yearly.

“We want people of Fargo to be proud of this asset,” he said.

Thor Johnson of Fargo brought his 6-year-old daughter, Lily, and 4-year-old son, Jack, to the event. The pair scaled the pen of Blizzard, a mostly white Holstein.

Johnson was thrilled with the free event. He described it as educational.

“It gets the kids started early,” he said. “The agriculture, the farming, how the industry was. How agriculture is involved with everything.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556