Dallas Center student participates in Beef Up Iowa Program

T.K. West - Correspondent
Herry McClure, a member of the Minburn 4-H Club, poses for a photo with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig while delivering his steer to Iowa State University through the Beef Up Iowa program. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

As a new member of the Minburn 4-H Club, Herry McClure recently presented his steer to the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture at the beginning of July.

“The McClure family has always been a part of the Dallas Center community. Herry is the seventh generation to live here on the family farm just south of Dallas Center,” Jon McClure, Herry’s father said. “Both of his parents had similar projects when they were kids so we felt that Herry would enjoy it also.”

This year Herry had one steer named Jake and a pen of three Junior Feeders to exhibit, with 2020 serving as his first year showing calves and completing 4-H projects. In preparation of the summer expo, Herry had been taking care of the calves each day, including putting them in the barn, washing and brushing them each morning, feeding and bedding them and leading his calf each evening in order to work on improving showmanship.

However, when the Dallas County Fair was postponed back in June due to COVID-19, Herry became concerned that this year he would no longer be able to show his steer.

“When the expo was set up for the kids, it really made him and all the other kids happy to just be able to show this summer,” McClure said. “The Dallas County community has been very supportive of Herry for his first year of 4-H. Being able to show his steer at the Dallas County Expo even with all the events being changed due to COVID-19 really made Herry’s summer.”

Herry later decided to participate in the Beef Up Iowa Program, where Iowa youth provide cattle to be processed at Iowa State University and distributed to local food banks and pantries across the state of Iowa.

Herry’s family initially heard about the program through Mike Taylor at Midwest Growth Partners. Together, with the help of Taylor and Rex Hoppes from the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Herry was able to be the first 4-Her to drop off his calf at the Iowa State Meat Lab.

“Herry really enjoyed visiting with Mike Naig and everyone with the meat lab at Iowa State University. Everyone visited with Herry and talked about school and his 4-H projects that morning. Herry has been talking about the experience non-stop since being able to visit Iowa State,” McClure said.

As a new student to the 4-H Program, Herry has enjoyed training his calves along with seeing how the animals grow throughout the year. He also likes working with his calves each morning and evening on showmanship. Herry will begin 5th grade at Dallas Center Elementary School this fall and participates in both baseball and soccer throughout the summer and fall months.

“I really liked seeing Iowa State and talking to everyone who was there,” Herry said. “They asked a lot of questions about my 4-H projects. It was fun talking to them.”