Eight Junior Fair members competed in the Grand Showman of Showmen cCompetition, Thursday, July 31, at the Preble County Fair, and when all was said and done, Stephen Garrett took the top prize.
Cade Carter, Swine Showman; Rachel Farler, Rabbits Showman; Adrianna Via, Poultry Showman; Kyle Clark, Equine Showman; Alisha Rader, Sheep Showman; Jade Newton, Dairy Cattle Showman; Garrett, Goats Showman and Garrett Eiler, Beef Showman, were this year’s competitors.
Garrett was the overall winner.
Overall the competition went really well, Ashley Fritz, one of the adult advisors to the Showman to Showmen Committee said. None of the animals really misbehaved and none had to be switched out, unlike last year Fritz noted.
Fritz said she thought he handled all the animals really well and said she saw him preparing by asking a lot of questions of other kids throughout the week.
“I think that the Showman of Showmen contest is probably one of the most premiere things that you can ever win as a 4-Her,” Fritz said. “Every livestock shower who is really into showmanship and really wants to do well, this is their ultimate goal. He ended up doing his best and won the whole thing.”
Garrett competed in the competition the past two years and placed third both times.
“So, basically my goal was to not get third this year,” Garrett said. “It feels pretty good after trying hard the first two times.”
Garrett said the only animals he has shown every year is goats, which is the animal he was representing, but he has also shown sheep, chickens and swine.
He said he felt he had an advantage in the competition because many of his competitors were there for the first time.
“I had a lot of help,” Garrett said. “Actually, the beef showman from last year, she actually won overall last year, helped me out a lot with beef. So it was mostly just being more prepared this time because I knew what to expect.”
This is Garrett’s 12th year in 4-H and his ninth year showing. He said he got involved because all of his siblings were in 4-H, as well.
“I don’t know that I even considered not doing it,” Garrett said. “I really enjoyed it once I started and I’ve learned a lot.”
Garrett said 4-H as a whole helps to teach kids about responsibility, leadership and citizenship.
“A lot of it is mental,” Garrett said. “Some animals are just kinda uncomfortable to show. In most cases, I think, it’s mind over matter, you have to learn how to do it.”
Garrett is 16 and has two more years left in 4-H. He said he hopes to keep showing and try to get back into the Showman to Showmen Competition again.
“It’s been a goal that I’ve been working for for a really long time,” Garrett said. “I know that there will probably be someone better than me next year, but I’m still gonna try.”
Garrett also attributed his win to to those who helped him.
“I really appreciate all the help that I got,” Garrett said. “I couldn’t have done it without all the support and training that I got from people. Just getting here is a huge accomplishment. Not a whole lot of people can say that they’ve done that, but it’s still more fun to win the big prize.”