Instructors want help from ranchers expanding state livestock camp

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BISMARCK, N.D. - This year's census of agriculture indicates farms and ranches nationwide fell by about 3 percent. Here in North Dakota, we lost nearly 4,600 farms of all sizes from 2012 to 2017. A 4-H camp in Washburn is trying to keep the number from falling any further, but may be a victim of its own success.

"Our camp is busting at the seams,” said Rick Schmidt, one of the camp’s instructors and Oliver County’s extension agent. "We've got 45 kids here at camp which is I guess is the largest in many, many years."

There's more students sitting on a wait list. Schmidt says he wants to get them involved, but to do that, he'll need help from North Dakota ranchers.

"Anytime you can work with these kids and give them that personal experience of working with someone who understands the industry, I encourage every rancher to share their expertise with these kids and prepare this next generation of kids,” said Schmidt.

Even out of state kids are coming to learn more about showing animals in fairs and what it takes to raise good livestock.

"I just like coming for everything and learning everything,” said Sofie Grunhovd, an 11-year-old camper from Minnesota.

Sofie says she wants to go back and work on her family's dairy farm in Minnesota. If you want to help out with the camp, Schmidt says contact your local extension office.