Catching up with Meany

Published 11:32 am Monday, October 1, 2012

Laura Meany tries to go through everything that has occupied her week during the Mower County Fair in August. Meany showed seven types of animals at the fair, including pigeons, cows, horses, pigs, llamas, rabbits and goats. Herald file photo

Something unprecedented happened inside the barns at the Mower County Fair this year.

A 4-H’er with more ambition than the average teen set out to show an animal in every category of livestock shows, and she accomplished her goals. Meet Laura Meany.

“It was definitely what I wanted to reach, but then I think about how I didn’t get to spend that much time with my friends,” said Meany, a

Laura Meany holds one of her rabbits before learning how to tattoo its ears this summer near Rose Creek.

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17-year-old from Rose Creek. “I don’t think I regret it because it was a lot of fun, and I learned so much this summer.”

Meany is one of 460 4-H’ers in Mower County and was one of nearly 350 to exhibit projects at the 2012, 128th annual Mower County Fair.

At the fair, Meany exhibited 11 rabbits, five pigs, five goats, two dairy calves, two pigeons, two sheep, one dairy steer, a llama and a horse, and that’s only a fraction of the amount of animals she cared for and trained with during the summer.

“It was pretty daunting for her to make all these connections for all the animals and all the money she spent,” said Meany’s mother, Lyn.

Meany leased animals from some farmers while leasing some of her own to others. As she grows in 4-H, she’s focusing more about the learning and leadership aspects. Meany was one of 20-some 4-H’ers who were state ambassadors at the Minnesota State Fair this summer. Meany also showed several animals and received several ribbons at the state fair.

“It was different than what I expected, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Meany said.

Meany has two years of 4-H eligibility remaining. Though she won’t show in every livestock category again, she’s excited to help others with their projects and to advocate for 4-H. She hopes to remain involved in 4-H in some way, such as being a chaperone or judge, as she grows into adulthood.

“I definitely think 4-H is going to be with me throughout life,” she said.

Lyn may notice more than others that her daughter has matured because of 4-H, as well. The responsibility, interaction with new people and sheer amount of work served Meany well.

“I think it was a huge confidence builder for her,” Lyn said.