This week??s Ag Kid is 16-year-old Van Buren High School student Joshua Wenke from Douds, Iowa.
??Joshua has autism. He thinks in a different way than we do. He??s a very visual learner. The animals seem to relate to him much more than us. He picks up their vibes, their energy. He sees things that we do not. He's calmer with animals,?? said Michelle Wenke, Joshua??s mother.
??I really like animals. They just make me calm down, like talk to them. If I get nervous, like of people, I'm not mad at them. I always talk to the horse,?? said Joshua.
Joshua??s mother said that being around animals has helped Joshua gain confidence and showed him that he can do something right.
??He can get animals to do things we can't. He trained his market beef last year unbelievable and he is very calm with it -- had it calmed down within three days,?? said Wenke.
Joshua and his family live out in the country in Douds, Iowa where there??s plenty of open spaces and clear skies.
??I like laying down in the grass and look up at the sky and look at the stars and watch the horse, how he do. That's what I most like,?? said Joshua.
Joshua??s mother said she is so proud of her son and everything that he has accomplished in his life. She added that Joshua has a wonderful spirit that brightens up any room.
??Last year at the fair, the fair board gave him a community leader award, first time ever, and it was because of his encouraging kids who didn't necessarily win but did their best,?? said Wenke.