The third time proved to be a winner for 19-year-old Jonathon Scott. The 2007 Madison-Plains High School graduate won the Grand Showman of Showmen trophy at the Madison County Fair on July 14.
Scott, a 10-year veteran of 4-H, said this year marked his third time in the contest and his last chance to win the coveted title.
Each participant in the annual Grand Showman of Showmen contest earns his or her entry into the show ring by winning the showman of showmen title in one of seven animal species: poultry, rabbits, beef, dairy, horses, sheep or goats.
The seven winners of those contests then compete against each other to show their knowledge of and showmanship skills related to all seven species. Grand Showman of Showmen contestants are required to take a written test prior to entering the show ring.
Scott earned his entry into this year’s contest as Showman of Showmen in beef. He also is an accomplished showman in swine projects. Scott said he acquired skills related to the other five species through his two previous years in the Grand Showman ring and from friends in 4-H and at school.
“We have a great group of 4-H members in our area who teach each other how to show the various animals. We just like helping each other,” Scott said.
The young man likely will be among those who teach younger 4-Hers the skills it takes to enter the Grand Showman circle in the future. One of his “students” is close to home; his younger sister, Robyn, is showing an interest in beef showmanship.
“She’s never been involved in 4-H or showing beef in the past, but she’s started getting interested in it this year. So, I hope she will be the one to continue the tradition on at the fair,” Scott said.
That tradition involves 10 years of showing beef cattle at fairs throughout Ohio. Scott and his father, Bill McDonald, have been a strong team on the open class fair circuit, competing at the Ohio State Fair and the Clark, Marion, Champaign, Fayette, Wood and Greene county fairs.
Scott’s ultimate success as a Grand Showman of Showmen seems to follow his philosophy on training beef cattle for the show ring.
“I like to get my show animals when they are very young, usually by late fall, and train them to a halter as soon as possible,” he said.
He explained that he leads his show cattle back and forth to food and water for a few weeks to get them used to the halter lead.
“It seems to get a real bond started right from the start, and to me, it’s just easy to get them ready for the show ring,” Scott said.
Although his days as a 4-H member are over, he won’t be far from the field, so to speak.
“I’d like to keep my cattle and keep the breeding part of it going,” he said.
Scott will enter Columbus State Community College in September where he will take courses in landscape design and landscape building design. His college goals will aid him in his personal landscape business, Prairie Green Lawnscape, which he has been building for three years.
Other contestants competing in the 2007 Grand Showman or Showmen contest included: Kara Hughes, Buckeye Rangers 4-H Club; Newt Long, London FFA; Jason Parker, Monroe Winners 4-H Club; Andy Keyt, Town & Country Kids; Kirsten Hart, Speedy Spurs Livestock 4-H Club; and Delanie Wiseman, Willing Workers West 4-H Club.