Six rise to top as premier exhibitors

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Two Madison County Junior Fair exhibitors received their second set of first-place honors in the Premier Livestock Exhibitors competition. Four exhibitors nabbed top premier spots for the first time.

Introduced at last year’s fair, the Premier Livestock Exhibitors contest recognizes 4-H and FFA youths not only for superior showmanship skills, but also for their overall knowledge of their livestock species. They earn points for their performances in skill-a-thons, personal interviews, livestock judging, animal placement in the show ring, and showmanship skills. The entrants with the most points at the end of fair week are the winners.

First-, second- and third-place winners are named in each of seven species categories, including beef, dairy, swine, goats, horses, poultry and rabbits. Each first-place winner receives a $50 check, an embroidered director’s chair depicting their species category, and a blue banner. Second- and third-place winners receive checks for $30 and $20, respectively, and rosette ribbons.

This year’s first-place winners included Jason Parker in dairy and Beth Havens in swine, both of whom took first-place in their given species in last year’s Premier Livestock Exhibitors contest. New first-place winners this year were Lauren Duffy in sheep, Megan Lohstroh in goats, Newt Long in poultry and rabbits, and Jenna Champer in beef.

The rabbit and poultry categories were new this year. Long had the distinction of taking first place in both.

For Champer, the contest continued a friendly family competition between her and her cousin, Rachel Garrison. Last year, Garrison placed first in the beef competition to Champer’s second. This year, their placements were reversed.

“I was so surprised,” Champer said following the awards presentation. “When they announced Rachel in second place, I figured I hadn’t won anything. I thought there was no way I could beat her. I hope this is something we can keep passing back and forth to each other over the years.”

Champer and her cousin look forward to sitting side by side in their special director’s chairs at future family events.

Second- and third-place finishers, by species, in this year’s Premier Livestock Exhibitor competition were:

Dairy—Tyler Parker (second place) and Cameron Parker (third);

Poultry—Brittni Stewart (second) and Nathan Stachler (third);

Rabbits—Christine Mozzetti (second) and Christiana Johnson (third); Sheep—Delanie Wiseman (second) and Sierra Fout (third);

Beef—Rachel Garrison (second) and Sara Fisher (third);

Swine—Jason Parker (second) and Kirsten Hart (third); and

Goats—Stephanie Bair (second) and Molly Holt (third).

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