Well, it has happened again. Fair has gone and passed, another year down in what seems like a blink of an eye.
Noelle Fine and Sydnee Bias dominate the highlight reel this year. Noelle’s swine earned the Reserve Grand Champion Market Swine, and helped Noelle win the Reserve Grand Champion Swine Showman. Noelle got the chance to compete in the Round Robin Showmanship contest which requires the two best showmen of each species to compete with each other showing all the species represented at fair. This year Noelle had to show her swine, as well as lamb, beef, goats, rabbits and poultry.
Showmanship is an event where students demonstrate how well their animal has been prepared and trained, as well as the students knowledge of the animal species such as breed characteristics, meat cuts, gestation period, feeding requirements and livestock terminology. It also takes into account the techniques used in the show ring to highlight the animals attributes and overall quality. Each species of livestock has a different process and technique that best demonstrates the muscling and finish of the animal. “Finish” is a livestock term used to describe the amount of fat on the animal. Each species of animal has a specific amount of finish necessary to ensure a quality carcass. Too much or too little finish will make an undesirable carcass. Over the course of the summer, students strive to come up with a specific feeding program that will produce the optimal quality carcass at the time the animal is to be sold at the market sale.
Sydnee Bias earned Grand Champion Market Steer, and also Reserve Champion Showmanship Steer in her class. Sydnee’s sister, Felicia, wasn’t too far behind her winning Champion Showmanship Steer in her class. Some other highlights during the weekend were Raven Waldron earning 3rd overall in Sheep Showmanship, Jessica Hand earning 3rd overall in Swine Showmanship, and Cheyanne Strong earning 3rd in Beef Showmanship. Raven Waldron also won Grand Champion in the Beginning Record Book Contest.
I remember the very first fair all of us went to in our 4-H years, and it seems just like yesterday. It’s amazing how fast time flies by. North Lake is very fortunate to have a plethora of good, devoted, 4-H leaders who care about kids. Students enter agriculture classes in high school excited about raising fair SAE projects and most know more about showing and fitting livestock than our advisor does (Mr. Waldron’s words, not mine). These 4-H leaders like Virginia Prosenick, Carrie Brown, Tami Dark, Roxanne Hand, Sue Warmington, Holly Vore, Hallie Nelson, and especially Lois Miles prepare the students well for their FFA years to come. The FFA doesn’t have to recruit students to participate at fair; we just have to keep them interested.
Felicia fitting her steer for the show.