(Posted July 21, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
This year marked Amy Burchett’s third year showing cattle at the Madison County Fair, second year qualifying for the Grand Showman of Showmen contest, and first year winning the Grand Showman of Showmen title. She said winning the title was a great way to cap off her showing career.
“I am still shocked and extremely excited to end on such a great note,” said the 2023 Madison-Plains graduate who will be a freshman at Baldwin Wallace University this fall, studying secondary education English and running cross country and track.
Burchett, 18, got her start as a Cloverbud in the 4-H program, became a full-fledged 4-Her at age 9, and later joined FFA in high school. She said her sister, Macy, the 2019 Madison County Fair grand showman of showmen, has been a huge inspiration, always pushing her and encouraging her.
Burchett’s first-ever animal project was an all white goat named “Casper the Friendly Goat.” Over the years, in addition to cattle and goats, she has shown sheep, poultry, and donkeys.
“I really love the animals. You’re always hanging out with them and working with them. You spend so much time with them, they become your friends,” Burchett said.
Those friendships become partnerships in the show ring. The time Burchett spent this year with her heifer, “Ginger,” resulted in many honors at this year’s fair, including the beef showman of showmen title which qualified Burchett for the grand showman contest.
The grand showman of showmen contest brings together the top showmen in nine species. They compete against one another, each showing all nine species, for the ultimate title. This year’s contest lasted 4.5 hours. Because she qualified for the contest last year, Burchett knew what to expect this year. Still, she wasn’t sure how well she would do in the dairy round.
“I was worried about dairy because it’s completely different than beef. Surprisingly, I did very well in that,” she said.
Her advice to future showman of showmen contestants: “Take your time, trust yourself, and do the best you can because it’s difficult to show all nine species.”
Joining Burchett in this year’s contest were: swine, Drew Reeves of the Green Range 4-H Club; sheep, Olivia Seaburn of the Fairfield Rascals 4-H Club; dairy, Lillian Finke of the Born in a Barn 4-H Club; goat, Adelyn Rupejko of the Madison County Show Offs 4-H Club; equine, Kinsey Null of the Mud Run Hustlers 4-H Club; rabbit, Zavier Mayabb of the Helping Hands Happy Hearts 4-H Club; poultry, Abigail Dameron of Madison-Plains FFA; and alpaca, Bella King of the Green Range 4-H Club.
In addition to the beef and grand showman of showmen titles, Burchett won grand champion born-and-raised market lamb with “Apollo” (she’s obsessed with the “Rocky” movies), grand and reserve champion born-and-raised feeder calf, premier exhibitor for breeding beef, and grand champion breeding heifer.
“I’m definitely going to miss showing. It’s been a huge part of my life for so long,” Burchett said. “Technically, I’m not done yet because I’m going to the state fair with ‘Ginger.’ I knew this was going to be it for my showing career and thought it would be a good experience.”
Burchett will show at the state fair July 25-26. She is the daughter of Rebecca and Dave Burchett.