News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

August 3, 2013

Vigo’s new 4-H Alpaca Club makes first trip to State Fair

INDIANAPOLIS — EDITOR’S NOTE: Members of the Vigo County 4-H Alpaca Club spent Friday at the Indiana State Fair, where livestock events were among the many activities under way on opening day. This is the club’s first appearance at the State Fair. Writer Susan Hayhurst caught up with the 4-H’ers and their leader at a pre-fair practice earlier in the week.



Discovering alpacas can spit gooey, sticky globs and being told the animals look like unicorns are just a few of the unusual experiences the members of the Vigo County 4-H Alpaca Club and their parents have had since the club formed three years ago.

Don and Jane Connor of northern Vigo County launched the club in 2011 by loaning animals to a handful of 4-H’ers and teaching them the basics of alpaca care.

Today, the club is led by Tracy Wilson, alpaca herd manager for the Sisters of Providence White Violet Farms, which leases the farm’s animals to the youth and their families.

“Sarah Gaughan with the Vigo County Extension office asked the Conners if they knew of anyone to take over the program, and they suggested Sarah ask me,” Wilson said. “This is my second year with the club. We had six kids last year showing alpacas at the county fair, and this year I’ve really seen the 11 kids bond with each other and the animals.”

The 2012-2013 club includes Olivia Branam, Rylee Bull, Harlie Dycus, Morgan Dycus, Eleanor Herndon, Liam Herndon, MacKenzie Jones, Anna Nagy, Sasha Nagy, Ben Steppe and Jia Webb.

Wilson’s purpose for the club is to teach the youth about the animals from care, feeding and grooming to what’s involved in showmanship and animal handling. Club meetings and practices take place at White Violet Farm at St. Mary-of-the-Woods.

“The herd sires and pregnant alpacas at White Violet are not offered to the youth, but we do offer a variety for the kids to choose from. I absolutely see the trust develop between the youth and the animals. Over a year’s time of the youth working with the animals, they really influence each other. There is change in body language, and I try to teach ‘alpaca zen,’” she said with a laugh. “Alpacas respond with calmness. Sometimes, I encourage spirited kids to ratchet it down, so they are calmer with the alpacas.

“I haven’t had kids of my own, so working with them was definitely out of my comfort zone,” Wilson said. “But being involved with this has certainly been worth it. I’m very comfortable teaching others about alpacas, and the interaction is what I enjoy.”

Wilson has been a wonderful influence on the youth as they learn more about this newer type of fair livestock, according to Deb Herndon, the mother of Liam, an eighth-grader at Honey Creek Middle School, and Eleanor, a fifth-grader at Dixie Bee Elementary, both alpaca club members.

“This is Eleanor’s second year showing ‘Providence Elise’ and Liam’s first year showing ‘Providence Wynne.’ Providence means the animals were born here at the farm,” Herndon said, while watching the 4-H’ers work with their alpacas at The Woods. “It’s evident to all of us: Tracy loves working with the kids, and she’s so great at teaching them about the responsibility. She lets us know about special events at the farm, like the animals getting their toenails trimmed, crias, or babies, being born, and the animals getting sheared. She wants the kids to experience lots of different elements of caring for the animals.”

The lease agreements with the farm are affordable, Herndon said, and some of the expenses associated with the alpaca care are subsidized by the farm. “Eleanor has had the same animal for two years and has had some great learning experiences, from mucking, or cleaning, the stalls and barns to feeding and daily animal care. We were proud of her for earning a reserve champion at county fair for handling, and Tracy also has the kids give speeches about the animals, so they are always learning about what they are doing.”

Liam “hung out” with his sister and Elise last year, but decided he had to do it himself for this year’s 4-H program. “I went to lots of Eleanor’s practices and watched her do chores last year, and I thought I was missing out. I’ve definitely gained a lot of knowledge and respect for alpacas,” he said. “I’d encourage other kids to join us because the meetings are packed with info, and you have lots of fun with the animals and everyone at the fair. I’m excited about going to the Indiana State Fair to show Wynne.”

Seven of the 11 youth are showing their alpacas — for the first time — this weekend at the state fair. Wilson said the club members are participating this year in showmanship and the obstacle course. “Our kids will be showing with other showmen from around the state, not just amongst themselves, like at the fair. This will be a bigger challenge, but they’re up for it.”

To prepare for fair events, the 4-H’ers and their endearing animals have diligently worked an obstacle course that includes walking across a low teeter-totter, through a tunnel, stepping into an established square and having to walk within the square backward, and completing a jump.

Anna Nagy, a sophomore at Terre Haute North Vigo High School, has been active with the club since the beginning and is the current club president. “I wanted to be involved with alpacas, but my family didn’t have the land available at home. The lease agreement has been wonderful and I’ve gained lots of leadership skills,” she said. “My alpaca feels like she’s my pet, just like my dog and cat. Seeing things like the vet coming to the farm and seeing a cria being born is something I wouldn’t necessarily see with other pets. This kind of animal may seem intimidating at first, but you’ll fall in love with them.”

Rylee Bull, a sixth-grader at West Vigo Middle School, also discovered the 4-H alpaca project is hands-on, not only between her and “Providence Gratia,” but also through working with alpaca fiber and making project posters. “One of my 4-H projects was a bookmark I had crocheted using alpaca fiber roving, which I dyed and spun into yarn. The bookmark is going to the state fair,” she said. “I’ve also learned alpacas have three eyelids, and I liked giving a five-minute speech on their ears and eyes. I want to do alpacas all the way through 4-H.”

Alpacas are somewhat unusual to most of the public, but seeing them wearing island leis was a treat during the county fair. “We walked in the fair parade with each animal and its youth wearing leis. We hadn’t done it before, but it seemed to be a big hit with everyone,” Wilson said.    

A great club recruitment tool is the spring 4-H event, where various 4-H clubs share booth space and information. Contact the Purdue Extension office at 812-462-3371 or Wilson at 812-535-2934 for more information.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • MET073114griffin markers.jpg Trail blazers

    Blake Griffin remembers when he and his brother, Dale, would ride their bikes along wooded trails in the wilderness area of Fowler Park.

    July 31, 2014 7 Photos

  • Officials say city ‘overspent’

    Two Terre Haute councilmen told the Taxpayers Association of Vigo County Thursday they think the city is overspending, but they gave no solutions to reduce expenses.

    July 31, 2014

  • MET073114sinkhole korenski.jpg Block downtown to close for repairs

    A sinkhole is forcing the temporary closure of a major downtown street beginning Monday.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 012312 MICK NEWPORT.jpg Wave of retirees at Vigo schools

    Valarie Bailey has worked for the Vigo County School Corp. for 26 years in roles that included at-risk counselor, school social worker, assistant student services director and curriculum coordinator.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire house to fire dept.

    A legal battle has been resolved to restore ownership of the community fire station in Fayette Township.

    July 31, 2014

  • Road Closings

    14th Street, from Oak to Poplar streets, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 9 for Friends and Family Weekend.

    July 31, 2014

  • August Fire Safety Tip

    Monthly safety hint — Barbeque/grilling safety

    July 31, 2014

  • MET 073014 WESTMINISTER DIG.jpg Expanding independence

    Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 5 Photos

  • Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish

    Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state

    Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.

    July 30, 2014

  • Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says

    Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MET073014parks bbushee.jpg Camping turnout low for first half of summer

    Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 073014 DESTROYED.jpg Devastating fire takes out mobile home

    A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
    Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Man posts bond after fatal wreck

    An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.

    July 30, 2014 3 Stories

  • Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield

    An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.

    July 30, 2014

  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Taiwan Gas Leak Explosion
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News