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Home for a heifer: Missing 4-H project found 45 days later

Staff writer

When David Oborny went out to his pasture to check on his calving red Angus cows Sunday, he did not expect to see a black heifer living among them.

He checks on his cows a few times a week during calving season, but never before had he seen the black Simmental living among them.

“She stood out,” Oborny said. “My cows are all red. She was not.”

The heifer, Rosslend, is a 4-H show heifer that had been missing for 45 days after she spooked and ran away when having her hooves clipped in Marion on July 28.

Rosslend, whose home is on Ben Freeman’s farm in Abilene, is the 4-H project of his granddaughter, Lauren Bell.

Oborny knew the heifer might have been the missing 4-H project after seeing an Aug. 31 story about Rosslend in the Marion County Record, Freeman said.

“We really appreciated everyone sharing the word and trying to help us find her,” Freeman said. “We know this helped in us getting our heifer back.”

Freeman went to Oborny’s pasture Monday to verify that the black heifer was, in fact, Rosslend.

“We had to drive a mile out to find her in the middle of trees and we never would have found her by ourselves,” he said. “But once we got there she stuck out like a sore thumb in a remote pasture with a red Angus herd.”

When Freeman saw her, he confirmed it was Rosslend and put a new show halter on her — the purple one Rosslend was wearing when she ran away was nowhere to be found — and loaded her into a trailer to take her home to Abilene.

“It was very, very exciting,” Freeman said. “We said, ‘Hallelujah our prayers are answered.’”

Rosslend is also excited, Freeman said, because she now has access to grain. She is much lighter than the 800 pounds she was when she went missing.

“She is thinner because we had her on show feed making her shiny and slick,” he said. “She sure didn’t forget to eat grain, though. She tore into it (Tuesday) morning and is glad to be on good, yummy stuff again instead of dry grass. It was a good morning, for sure.”

Lauren, 15, reunited with Rosslend Tuesday evening.

“To say she is excited is an understatement,” Freeman said. “She is ecstatic. She hardly slept and couldn’t wait for the school bell to ring so she could come and see her heifer.”

Last modified Sept. 13, 2017

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