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    Greyhound Racing MALLORY GRENIER
    Posted byadmin on Monday, May 19 @ 19:57:25 EDT
    Contributed by admin

    As an Agri- Business major at Des Moines Area Community College, I came into the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship as an intern with the Horse and Dog Breeding Bureau.  I have a strong background in horses, but the greyhound industry was new to me.  My first experiences consisted of asking questions and developing an understanding of the regulatory functions of the Horse and Dog Bureau headquarters at the Wallace Office Building in Des Moines, Iowa.  The more I learned about the greyhound industry the more my interest in the greyhounds grew.  After my third week at the Bureau I began the hands on experiences of traveling with the Bureau’s livestock inspectors. 

    Traveling to the greyhound farms was far more amazing and exciting than I would have ever imagined.  Every inspector, owner and breeder was so helpful.  They were always willing to answer my questions and help me get a grasp on the Iowa greyhound industry. 

    Some of the most rewarding experiences came from driving down the lengthy driveways back into the hills of the Iowa countryside.  I caught my breath as we drove over the hills and down into the valleys of what appeared to be huge pony farms.  Instead of ponies, the fields were filled with forthcoming canine athletes.  I saw the strength and power in each of the dogs as they raced the car down the lane.  It helped me realize that athletes are not raised in kennels but in the fields of runs as far as my eye could see. 

    My first interaction with the greyhounds came from my trip to Brad and Kathy Boeckenstedt’s farm.  Brad and Kathy were very kind and answered all the questions I asked them, with a smile on their face.  I fell in love with all the new puppies in the runs with their mothers.  The puppies were friendly as they came to us.  They crowded around, climbed upon one another, hung off each other’s tails, and smiled at us with a look of hello.  I quickly learned that each of the puppies and dogs has a personality of their own.  The Boeckenstedts showed me their facilities, where the puppies were whelped, the runs where the younger puppies lived and the larger runs for the older puppies that had graduated to puppy kindergarten.  I realized they were not just dogs in cages but part of the family.

    On every farm I visited, the sights were incredible.  I loved looking out into the runs and seeing all the gentle giants basking the sun without a care in the world.  Each owner was very courteous and welcoming.  They allowed me into their facilities and were open to the questions I was asking.  Each one encouraged me to interact with their pets. 

    After traveling to the farms, I continued my adventure by going to the Dubuque Greyhound Park and Casino.  Seeing the greyhounds at the track opened my eyes even more.  The dogs were so enthused to be able chase the lure around the track.  After running they came back to their kennels where they got a nice cozy house with the bedding of their preference.  I was so intrigued to learn the complexity of each dog’s diet and schooling schedule.  They each had a meal designed to keep them in top condition.  That’s the life… getting to eat, sleep, and play all day!

    Most of all I was very impressed with each and everyone involved in the greyhound industry.  From the government offices to the farms, everyone I encountered on my journey shared a commitment to the greyhound industry.  It was an amazing sight to see generations of family members taking part in raising and racing Iowa bred greyhounds. My time spent with the bureau made me want to learn more and become more involved with the industry. 

    I would like to extend my gratitude to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, The Iowa Greyhound Association and all the Iowa greyhound owners and breeders.  As an Agri- Business major you have added to my knowledge and back ground on a growing agricultural business in Iowa.  No wonder your industry is second in the nation!

    I would also like to thank Brad and Kathy Boeckenstedt dearly, for allowing me the opportunity to adopt a puppy from their farm.  No words could explain how thrilled I am to say I own a Boeckestedt bred greyhound.

    Thank you all for making my internship a joy of a lifetime. 

    By Mallory Greiner

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