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Fontanelle Observer

Woosley children enjoying hands on learning from bottle/bucket calf projects

From left to right, Remington, Treena and Shelbee Woosley care for their bottle/bucket calves on their farm last week south of Avondale.
From left to right, Remington, Treena and Shelbee Woosley care for their bottle/bucket calves on their farm last week south of Avondale.

FONTANELLE — Adam and Timber Woosley’s three children, second-grader Treena, sixth-grader Remington and high school sophomore Shelbee, have had plenty to do outside on their Avondale farm recently with in-person classes not meeting due to the new coronavirus.

One of these projects has been caring for their three bottle/bucket calves they’re raising in anticipation of the 2020 Adair County Fair.

As of this week, the Adair County Fair Board was not ready to make an announcement on the fate of this year’s fair, President Gina Meisenheimer indicated in a text message to the newspaper.

The Woosleys acquired one of their calves from neighbor Ray McCall while the other two came from Dayton. The Woosleys had three vehicles break down on their trip to pick up these calves but were finally able to get back on the road, load the calves and get home safely.

According to information from ISU Extension and Outreach, the bottle/bucket calf project focuses on the life skills of learning how to learn and decision making.

The Woosley kids say they weren’t overly choosy in what they were looking for in calves this year because they just wanted the experience of the project.

Treena will be old enough she will be able to show at least one calf in the open class at the fair. Remington will show as a 4-Her. While Shelbee will help prepare these calves for the fair, she’s also getting ready to show a horse and dog at the fair, so she will not participate in the bottle/bucket calf show this year.

All three Woosley children are members of the Washington Stars 4-H Club. Shelbee is also a member of the Nodaway Valley FFA chapter.

“[The bottle/bucket calf project] teaches them a lot of responsibility,” Shelbee said. “It’s good for them to learn things like this, and I think they really like it.”

This will be Remington’s first fair showing a bottle/bucket calf. He said his older sister and parents have been helpful guides as he has learned his way in caring for his calf.

“You have to be responsible enough to take care of them, so this is taking responsibility,” Remington said as he and his siblings held bottles for their calves to drink from.

The Woosleys have their calves in a small shed at their farm that they felt is just right for the calves. Guidance offered online by Extension covers for 4-Hers tips on how to select a calf, how to select and provide housing, how to feed them nutritiously and other factors.

“It was a lot at the beginning but once we got the hang of it and knew what to do, it was pretty easy,” Remington said.

“I like coming out and playing with the calves but I don’t like when they head butt me,” Treena said.

Adam reported to the newspaper that all three children are participating in some level of voluntary continuous learning provided by Nodaway Valley teachers, but it has also been fun to see them enjoy more experiencing the outdoors raising their animals and in other ways.

“This is good because it teaches them that it’s not all fun, there’s work involved,” Adam said. “Once you commit to it you have to feed them morning and night — it has to be done. That’s the big eye opener for them I would say.”

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