Rare English Longhorn calf born just in time for opening day

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An English Longhorn calf was recently born at Conner Prairie, the result of an embryo transfer procedure not performed in the U.S. since 1993.

By Hannah Kiefer
Spring at Conner Prairie means the arrival of baby animals in Animal Encounters. And this year, there’s an extra-special delivery – an incredibly rare English Longhorn calf, born of a Shorthorn cow that served as a surrogate.

About 9 months ago, a 7-day-old embryo was shipped from England in liquid nitrogen to keep it cool. Upon arrival, it was implanted into one of Conner Prairie’s Shorthorn cows at an offsite facility – the first time such a procedure has been done with an English Longhorn in the U.S. since 1993.

The calf brings Conner Prairie’s English Longhorn herd to 11. There are only about 40 members of the breed in the U.S. and and Conner Prairie has the second-largest herd in the nation. Continue reading

Conner Prairie’s historic outdoor grounds open for 2017 season in 1 week

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Conner Prairie opens its historic outdoor grounds for the 2017 season on March 28.

Staff Report
Conner Prairie will open its historic outdoor grounds for the 2017 season one week from today.

SmithNamed_CneterdSpanning nearly 1,000 wooded acres in central Indiana, the museum welcomes nearly 400,000 visitors of all ages each year. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers nine outdoor, historically themed destinations and three indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math.

Conner Prairie will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday through April 9. Days of operation change from April 13-30; the museum will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Continue reading

Conner Prairie joins museums around globe in online advocacy campaign today

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Conner Prairie will join other museums and nonprofit organizations in advocating for the future of museums and the importance of teaching and learning history during History Relevance’s online campaign today.

Staff Report
People all over the world are asked to share how important it is to teach and learn history and advocate for the future of museums through a day-long online campaign today.

The effort has been organized by History Relevance, a group of history professionals representing large organizations like the Smithsonian Institute and National Archives down to smaller museums, nonprofits and similar groups. Continue reading

Mother-son Rose Awards nominees receive honorable mention recognition

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Conner Prairie employees Pat and Mark Wehlage received an honorable mention recognition at Visit Indy’s 26th annual Rose Awards gala Thursday night in downtown Indianapolis.

Staff Report
Conner Prairie employees Pat and Mark Wehlage were honored at the Visit Indy’s 26th annual Rose Awards Thursday night in downtown Indianapolis. Both were honored for their excellent customer service at the gala.

Pat works as a guest services representative manning Conner Prairie’s concierge desk in the Welcome Center lobby. Mark works as an interpretation manager and a “405,” one of five people who oversee the grounds on a daily basis.

The pair was called out specifically at the beginning of the awards ceremony, when announcers Rafael Sanchez and Beth Vaughn of WRTV-6 noted that the duo had traveled the world together doing a puppet ministry and now work together at Conner Prairie.

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In addition to members of their family, Pat and Mark Wehlage (from left to right) were joined at Thursday night’s 2017 Rose Awards gala by Conner Prairie President and CEO Norman Burns and wife Sandy.

Spotlight: Meet 2017 Rose Award nominee Mark Wehlage

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Mark Wehlage (left) is one of five people at Conner Prairie called a “405,” which is a person in charge of the grounds for the day. He is a 2017 Rose Awards nominee.

Staff Report
Every season, Mark Wehlage takes about 1.5 million steps around Conner Prairie to ensure that all guests to the outdoor history museum have the best experience possible. In total, that’s more than 700 miles walked around the grounds while he’s on duty.

“That’s just if each day is an average day at Conner Prairie,” he said.

Mark has worked as one of a five-person team each called a “405,” which, in layman’s terms is the No. 1 person in charge on the grounds when the museum is open. The numeric title of his job derives from the radio channel on which he and his teammates can be reached. Continue reading