By Chad Hobbs
With the paper going to print on Tuesdays, last week’s coverage of the Meade County Fair was only able to include the swine show portion of the 4-H/FFA livestock shows. This week will focus on the sheep, goat and beef shows.
On Tuesday, youth with both sheep and goat projects took to the show ring. The sheep show kicked off the morning, showcasing the meticulously sheered animals in multiple classes and age groups. By the end of the show, Emily Myers’ lamb was crowned the Overall Grand Champion Market Lamb. Taylor Hobbs’ lamb would be chosen as the Overall Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb.
At the end of the show, the fair board had the ring, gates and show barn sprayed with a disinfectant to help sanitize the building due to COVID-19, before the goat show took center stage. All four species have their obvious differences, but one characteristic that appeared to set the goats apart was their stubborn disposition at times. More than once, the contestants would be leading their animals in single file around the ring when a goat would decide to dig its hooves in and refuse to take another step without some coaxing. The youth did a wonderful job with the show, all the same. In the end, JuliAnn Faulkner’s goat was chosen as the Overall Grand Champion Market Goat, and Jacob Sherrard’s goat was selected as the Overall Reserve Grand Champion Market Goat.
The beef show on Wednesday morning was the final event of this year’s fair. The steers often tower over the contestants compared to the other species. This almost became a moot point, however, when the youth led their animals around the ring. After months of hard work and bonding with the animals, the size of the cattle was no issue to a young man or lady leading it. They commanded the ring and their animal with much of the same ease as anyone showing a hog, lamb or sheep. The final event ended with Grayson Hardesty winning with the Overall Champion Market Steer. Mary Brooke Stith was chosen to have the Overall Reserve Champion Market Steer.
Traditionally the livestock shows conclude with all species taking part in a live auction of each student’s market animal. Due to the pandemic, this event was moved to an online auction format this year because of how many people would have to be brought together for this event to take place. Since this had never taken place before under this format, there was an air of apprehension as to how successful this would be throughout the shows all week. At the close of the auction at 5 p.m. Wednesday, it appeared to work out better than could have been hoped for, according to numerous people who help put on the shows and parents of contestants.
In the coming week or two, the paper will run a special section to bring recognition to the champions and reserve champions for every class that took place at all four shows. We just want to wait for the complete buyers list to be finalized and submitted to us first. It has been a difficult year for many businesses, but despite that, they stepped up huge for our Meade County youth, making sure each contestant got a great price for their animal and hard work. These great men and women deserve credit for their crucial support to the livestock program, and we want to make sure they are recognized as well.