University of Vermont

4-H'ers Learn Tips for Handling Working Steers

Davey Smith, Madison, New Hampshire (left), and Amanda Ferris, Braintree, Vermont, practice driving their teams at the May 13 working steers workshop in Tunbridge, Vermont. (credit: Wendy Sorrell/UVM Extension 4-H)

Tunbridge--Nine 4-H'ers from Vermont and New Hampshire gathered at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds on May 13 to hone their skills handling and showing working steers. 

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H sponsored the event, which was attended by Vermont 4-H'ers Alyson Ballou, West Fairlee; Landon Campbell and Krystin Skoda, both from Randolph; Amanda Ferris, Braintree; Caleb Morvan, Northfield; Megan Taylor, East Randolph; and Shawn Whitney, Chelsea. Austin Hatch and Davey Smith, both from Madison, New Hampshire, and members of the Carroll County Clovers 4-H Club, also participated in the day-long workshop. 

The event, which included a potluck lunch, offered expert one-on-one instruction in several areas, designed to better prepare the 4-H'ers to successfully enter their teams in working steer shows. Participants learned proper clipping techniques, how to hitch a team to a two-wheeled ox cart and maneuver through a series of obstacles and how to get their teams to respond to basic commands to pull a stone boat, a type of sled for moving heavy objects. 

The workshop was organized by UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator Wendy Sorrell. Instructors were Tom Cole, South Ryegate; Rob Hatch, Madison, New Hampshire; and Nick Stone, Barnard. 

Vermont currently has five working steer 4-H clubs: Backwoods Teamsters, Ryegate; Green Mountain Grazers, Addison; Green Mountain Teamsters, Pomfret; Hooves and Horns, Randolph; and the Northern Vermont Working Steer 4-H Club, West Fairlee. To learn more about the 4-H working steer project in Vermont, contact Wendy Sorrell at (802) 651-8343, ext. 513, or