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4-H members' hard work shows

4-H youths like Morgan Monio are very close to the animals they are raising. Monio also took an afternoon nap on this cow during last week's Washington County Fair. (Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner)1 / 2
Leah Arnt, cousin of Morgan Monio, who owns the Charolais cow Arnt has been petting, is a member of the River Routers 4-H Club. Club members exhibited the animals they are raising at the fiar. The Charolais won grand and reserve championships. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner2 / 2

At last year's Washington County Fair, Morgan Monio, a member of the Riverside Routers 4-H Club, didn't do well in the show ring with the cow she raised.

This year was a different story. Monio's Charolais cow took grand and reserve championships and she's earned a trip to the Minnesota State Fair representing Washington County.

Judges said her cow had good characteristics for the breed including a "big butt" and broad shoulders. They also said the animal was well fed.

The Charolais, characterized by it's uniform tan color, is Monio's favorite breed, she said, after waking up from a nap she took laying on top of one of her cows in the county fair's cow barn. She's surprised and happy to be going to the state fair later this month.

Her cousin, Leah Arnt, also a Riverside Routers club member along with youth from southern Cottage Grove, Denmark Township and parts of Afton, is happy for Monio and helps to take care of the cows.

Arnt is raising a "paint" quarter horse and didn't win this year. But the horse is young, she said, and will do better next year.

"I love animals and like to help with them," Arnt said. "You get to show what you've learned and how amazing your animal is."

Being in 4-H and raising animals is hard work and there are long days at the fair, said River Routers' Tatyana McKenna, but it's worth it and she's glad she joined 4-H.

"It's fun and you meet new people," McKenna said, adding that there are many areas to get into in 4-H in addition to raising animals.

Tatyana joined to follow her older sister, Alyssa McKenna, who is in her last year of 4-H.

She's never won a trip to the state fair but loves 4-H.

"The thing I learned from being in 4-H is that hard work pays off," Alyssa said. "It teaches you to be determined."

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600