4-H’ers try to keep livestock cool at the fair during intense heat

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LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) — Wednesday could be the hottest day of 2021 across Siouxland, with heat indexes reaching up to 110 degrees. It’s a fitting time for it, too, as the “Best 5 Days of Summer” kicks off at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars. But with this intense heat, 4-H members’ main focus is keeping their animals cool and out of the sun.

“We have to put a mister on him and some fans to keep him cool in there,” said Braylen McCarthy.

Braylan McCarthy and his friends are part of the Liberty Perry Pacers 4-H team. They’re excited to show off everything from market steers to bucket calves, and so much more. However, the hot temps bring about new challenges in keeping their livestock show-ready.

The Plymouth County Program and Youth Coordinator said delaying the fair a day was never an option, but they did make scheduling changes to allow animals to get settled early in the day before temperatures skyrocketed into triple digits.

“And we moved up all of our weigh-ins this morning so that those livestock could get their check-ins done and get settled into their stall. I mean, really it’s just letting them be and not overworking them or doing anything too extraneous with them today,” said Ann Schoenrock.

The Liberty Perry Pacers told us what the signs are when cattle overheat.

“They’re breathing really heavy and their ears get real droopy. Panting, yeah, and their mouth gets all slimy,” they said.

The livestock judging contests have been pushed back to Thursday due to the heat, but the rabbit and bucket calf competitions were held Wednesday.

For a full schedule of events, head to the Plymouth County Fair website.

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