Archive for Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Klamm siblings exploring wide range of 4-H events this summer

August 5, 2009

When watching DJ Klamm work with his 4-H show cows, it’s easy to pick up on his comfort level with the animal.

DJ, age 9, has no problem being as close to cows as possible. Whether its throwing an arm around the cow’s neck for a hug or using all his body weight to push the stubborn animal into a correct show stance, DJ loves working with cows.

“Working with animals is my favorite,” DJ said. “I especially like working with cattle. I like to take care of them.”

DJ, along with his brother, Brett, 7, will be joining hundreds of other Leavenworth County youths who will be competing in various 4-H events at the annual Leavenworth County Fair, Aug. 11-15.

In addition to showing two market steers and one breeding heifer, DJ will be showing projects in arts and crafts, cooking, and woodworking.

While DJ is a true cowboy at heart with his participation in junior rodeo events and his love of cows, the Bonner Springs resident has picked up a new trait that is all his own.

Woodworking is something DJ kind of fell into. Neither his Father nor is grandfather, with whom he typically works on projects with, does woodworking. But a pile of scrap wood called out to DJ and every since then he’s been building whatever comes to mind.

With obvious excitement, DJ enjoys showing off his woodworking station, which includes a workbench he made himself. Various projects such as a chair and ladder are strewn about the workstation. He even made a feed dish holder for his cows because he was tired of them tipping over the dish and spilling their food.

But the projects that will make it into this year’s fair are a creeper, the rolling cart that mechanics use to look under a car, and a Chinese Checker board game.

“I’ve built a bunch of stuff,” DJ said pointing with pride to his creations. “It gives me something to do.”

DJ’s brother, Brett, will be showing an arts and crafts project as part of the Cloverbuds, which is a pre-4-H competition. The Cloverbuds contest helps youths too young to compete in 4-H get acquainted with the county fair.

Last year Brett showed a tie-dyed T-shirt and this year he showed a bird house he made out of wood and then painted.

“I thought it would be fun,” Brett said of his choice of project, “because I wanted something I could paint.”

The bright red and blue birdhouse would surely stand out to judges, Brett hopes. While there are no winning projects, judges will speak with the Cloverbuds about the strengths of each project and ways to improve come a time when they join the older 4-H’ers.

When that time comes, Brett said he wants to break into showing cows or swine.

“That’s what my dad did so I thought it would be fun,” he said.

Both brothers said they’re looking forward to the fair as they do every year.

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