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Being active in 4-H inspires 12-year-old girl

August 4, 2018

MITCHELL — Twelve-year-old Baleigh Lane leaned with her back against the ring Tuesday afternoon at the Scotts Bluff County Fair Fiber Animal Show.

“About four years ago I showed in Clover Kids,” she said. “Last year was my first serious year and I showed horses.”

Lane was just a spectator today. In her arms, cradled like a newborn baby, she held a 2-week-old Nigerian Dwarf goat, Kendra.

A handful of sheep bleated and one llama in particular, among the four, hummed a ditty as the exhibitors drove them around the ring. The fluorescent lights battled with the sun as it casted hard shadows into the Livestock Pavilion.

Kendra got restless and convinced Lane to set her down in the sawdust. She meandered around in an imperfect circle, but never strayed too far from Lane’s feet.

Lane said she had friends in 4-H and wanted to show with them, and that’s how she got started.

She also has an agricultural family.

“My mom showed her whole childhood,” Lane said. “My dad was a farmer his whole life.”

Her father, however, recently underwent back surgery and is looking for an office job to prevent any further injuries to his back. Her mother is now the general manager at Chili’s in Scottsbluff.

Like many 4-Hers, Lane will have multiple animals to show at the fair. This year, Lane is showing horses, cattle and dogs. Next year, she said, she will show goats.

She said she enjoys bonding with the animals and building relationships with them.

Lane said she believes being active in 4-H will help her in her future career.

“I actually want to be either a vet tech or work in a ranching background,” she said. “I’m here for the learning experience.”

Without anyone noticing, Kendra managed to squeeze herself through the small opening between the latticework of the gate and slowly made her way to the open door.

Lane took after her, and scooped her up.

She tilted her head and gave some thought to where she would one day like to end up.

“Maybe Wyoming,” she said.

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