Logan Boyum is entering sheep into this year's 4-H fair competition. Assisting her with showing the sheep is her sister, Morgan, a 4-H alum.  GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Logan Boyum is entering sheep into this year's 4-H fair competition. Assisting her with showing the sheep is her sister, Morgan, a 4-H alum. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Logan Boyum isn't sheepish about her cows.

"I started Cloverbuds mostly because I was always in 4-H. My brother and sister were always in it, and I would help them, even when I was younger," she said. "I bottle-fed the calves, pretended that I was brushing and washing them, and we had a bottle-fed calf, Jasmine, that would play with us in the sandbox."

Logan said that is why she has stuck with cows. She added that some of her friends from Cloverbuds had some sheep, but her father always said that they were more work and he didn't want to mess with them.

However, Logan added, "He found out that they're easy to take care of, so he broke down and got some. This is my fourth year doing sheep."

Logan is the daughter of Peter and Julie Boyum of rural Chatfield, and is busily preparing her market heifer, Molly, and her breeding heifer, Century, for the Fillmore County Fair. She also has four sheep that she's sheared and shined up, hoping that at least one of them will bring her a prize ribbon.

Her older sister, Morgan, began participating in the Root River Rabbits 4-H in 1999, the year Logan was born, because their older brother, Luke, had been in it. Once Logan was old enough - a kindergartner Cloverbud - she joined as well.

Now, the 14-year-old is a fair veteran, having taken projects to the fair since she was in third grade. "I always took a Cloverbuds project every year. You don't get placed when you're in Cloverbuds, but you get a ribbon," she explained. "Now, I usually do a fine arts project, some crafts, and one year I made a prayer shawl. Last year, I made a stained glass window of a cow in a shed, and I got a purple ribbon for that at the state fair. Karl Unnasch helped me make that."

This year, Logan will be taking her Simmental purebred and her sheep, three black-faced and one speckled-faced.

"They're all wethers, so they're all market lambs," she added. "I'm also making a baby sweater with my great-grandma, who's 97 years old...I've been knitting since I was 5 or 6 because my grandma and grandpa were my daycare."

The mammal parts of her 4-H fair projects are the objects of her pride. "My market beef heifer is what I'm proud of. She's home-raised, and she came out of another heifer I raised in the past couple years," Logan elaborated. "She was born in a shed on our farm. My breeding heifer is from a family friend's farm, and we bought her at an auction."

Logan's days begin early enough to cultivate the pride that she takes in her animals, as she gets up and starts walking her heifers, then takes her sheep on a two-and-a-half mile trot down to the river and back - with help from her mother or sister. Logan then spends the rest of the morning mucking out stalls and cleaning the animals.

"I usually get up about 8 and halter and walk the heifers and sheep, and Mom and Morgan help walk the sheep, and I wash the cows. It depends on what's happening on the farm. Without my family, I wouldn't be able to do this by myself," she added.

Logan explained that even though she's very fond of her heifers, she's more likely to get nervous while in the cattle show ring. "I like showing sheep more than cows, for some reason. I think I have a knack for it and can show them better," she admitted. "Really, I think it's fun to go out and see how your animal does. I just like putting all my hard work out there."

It takes a lot of work getting ready for the fair and Logan acknowledged that it is a commitment.

"I think even if you do good or bad while showing, you can still be proud of how you took all that time to raise the animal," she said. "You can be proud of it, no matter how you do because it takes a lot of work just to get ready for the fair."

Logan appreciates her fellow 4-Hers' livestock projects as well, noting that members from her own club and other clubs often become her friends because they understand what hard work is, but also what great fun is.

"I like 4-H mostly because of having the friends I've met in it. There are people I've met just from 4-H who have become some of my best friends, and I like helping a lot of people, doing community service," Logan concluded. "And even if you live in town, you can join 4-H, do projects. It's a fun thing I think every kid should have a chance to do."