Nebraska fourth graders gear up for Kids Day at the Oregon Trail Rodeo on Aug. 25 | TSLN.com

Nebraska fourth graders gear up for Kids Day at the Oregon Trail Rodeo on Aug. 25

Stock contractor Jim Korkow talks to a group of fourth graders at the 2016 Kids’ Day at the Oregon Trail Rodeo in Hastings. About 400 kids learn about rodeo, rodeo livestock, cowboys and ranching during the day. Photo by Ruth Nicolaus

Hastings, Neb. — School will have just started, but fourth graders in the Adams County area will be gearing up for a field trip.

About 400 fourth-grade students from Adams, Hall and Webster counties will be in attendance at the annual Kids Day at the Oregon Trail Rodeo in Hastings on Aug. 25.

At the fairgrounds, they'll learn about a variety of things: Nebraska history, rodeo, rodeo animals and more. And they'll get a chance to experience it firsthand: The kids rotate through about five different stations, getting to try barrel racing, steer wrestling and learning about bull riding, bareback riding and other events.

While they are at the Adams County Fairgrounds, they also get to visit with rodeo personalities behind the scenes. Jim Korkow, of Korkow Rodeo in Pierre, S.D., will visit with them, and announcer Travis Schauda of Broken Bow, along with the rodeo clown and bullfighters, will talk about their jobs with the kids. Rodeo queens like Miss Rodeo Nebraska and Miss Oregon Trail Rodeo will greet the students when they get off buses at the grounds.

“They like the vet talking about the animal’s health, and I think that’s a different aspect the kids don’t normally think about.” Lauren Henry, fourth-grade teacher at Watson Elementary

It's a great opportunity for students, said Lauren Henry, a fourth-grade teacher at Watson Elementary in Hastings. The primary focus for history in fourth grade is Nebraska studies, and the Kids Day fits into that.

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"They get to learn about the origins of rodeo and Buffalo Bill Cody," Henry said.

Students also hear from the official rodeo veterinarian, which Henry's students enjoy.

"They like the vet talking about the animal's health, and I think that's a different aspect the kids don't normally think about," Henry said.

Students also like being in the arena and talking to the rodeo personalities. One of Henry's favorite parts is visiting with Korkow, who owns the horses and bulls that buck at the rodeo. He emphasizes the importance of the health of his animals, which is interesting, she said.

Henry incorporates history on the cowboy and ranching before and after her students visit the fairgrounds.

Students spend the morning of the first day of rodeo, Aug. 25, at the Kids Day; they each receive a small gift and a soda pop.

The Oregon Trail Rodeo hosts the annual Kids Day. The rodeo is Aug. 25-27. Tickets can be purchased at the Adams County Fairgrounds in advance or at the gate. They are $20 for stadium seating, $15 for reserve seating and $10 for general admission. Tickets for children ages 6-12 are $5 for general admission; in the stadium and reserve seating, children pay the same price as adults.

For more information, visit the website at AdamsCountyFairgrounds.com or call 402-462-3247. F

–Oregon Trail Rodeo