During the spring semester, the Equine Breeding Program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls collaborated with Wisconsin 4-H educators and developed an outreach program, “Foaling Around with Wisconsin 4-H.” Casie Bass, associate professor of Animal Science, and 15 college students enrolled in her Equine Reproductive Techniques course worked with Evan Henthorne, Adams County 4-H program educator, and Katie Stenroos, Douglas County 4-H program educator, on this project.
From February through May, the team collaborated to produce informational videos regarding foaling, mare and foal care, nutrition, exercise, and other educational topics related to horses and equine reproduction. Every other week Bass and her students met virtually with up to 100 4-H participants and parents in a live question and answer session to better engage with the 4-H members and continue the conversation on the various topics covered in the videos.
Through the semester-long program, Wisconsin 4-H participants were able to continue gaining knowledge about horses and equine reproduction, as well as meet UWRF college students and UWRF horses, despite face-to-face restrictions due to COVID. Jax Zajec, one of the 4-H participants, won the right to name one of the UWRF foals born this spring. This summer, Zajec, accompanied by his mother and siblings, visited UWRF to meet Bass, Henthorne and Stenroos in person and tour the facility. Most exciting for Zajec was meeting Klover, the foal that he named, and Klover’s dam, Kitty.