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4-H seniors show market savvy
aa-Eliott and a goat
Elliott Weber, 3, looks at a goat, Thursday morning at the Barton County Fair. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Friday’s Fair Schedule

7:30 a.m. - Business Appreciation Breakfast; 4-H Dairy Goat Show
9 a.m. - 4-H Meat Goat Show
11 a.m. - 4-H Sheep Show
5 p.m. - 4-H Beef Show
5-10 p.m. - Commercial exhibits open
6 p.m. - Wagner’s Carnival
6:30 p.m. - Fashion Show
8 p.m. - Country Concert: Glorianna w/ special guest Stateline Drive, 8 p.m.

Saturday’s Fair Schedule

9:30 a.m. - Mutton Bustin’ and Kids Ranch Rodeo; registration opens 9 a.m.
10 a.m. - The Bernard J. Ohnmacht Memorial Shepherd’s Lead
10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Damon Family Car/Truck/Motorcycle Show; registration from 8-10:30 a.m.
11 a.m. - Open Class Sheep Show; check-in at 10:30 a.m.
Noon to 10 p.m. - Commercial exhibits open
1:30 p.m. - Open Class Animals Costume; Antique Tractor Pull - registration at noon.
2:30 p.m. - Kids Pedal Tractor Pull - registration at 2 p.m.; followed by Adults Pedal Tractor Pull - registration at 2:30 p.m.
5 p.m. - Community Bank Watermelon Feed
6 p.m. - ATV Rodeo; Wagner’s Carnival
6-8 p.m. - Free Stage
7 p.m. - Gary Ewing Memorial Open Class Swine Show - registration 5-6:30 p.m.
8 p.m. - Rock Tribute Concert: Killer Queen (tribute to Queen) and Landslide (tribute to Fleetwood Mac)

The next generation of livestock producers is aware of the rewards as well as the challenges ahead, if the standout exhibitors at the Barton County Fair are any indication.
At the 4-H Swine Show on Thursday, event judge Cody Miller added a twist to the Senior Showmanship competition when he asked each contestant to do a bit of public speaking. He asked them to take the microphone and say a few words about what they enjoyed most about preparing for the event — and what they see as the biggest challenges in the industry.
Usually, showmanship events focus on how well the young people present their animals as they move around the show ring. The students may also be asked questions to test their knowledge of animal husbandry.
“I think it’s important for the young folks to come up to the microphone,” Miller said, noting confidence and public speaking can be useful skills. “You don’t have to have the best animal to be good at showmanship.”
“One thing I enjoy is the interaction with the animal,” said Shiani Hughes, a member of Ellinwood Energizers. “They really do have a mind of their own.”
“Pigs have a lot of personality, compared to some animals,” agreed Cody Wondra, also from the Ellinwood 4-H Club.
They also showed their knowledge of the industry, with Wondra commenting on this year’s drop in market prices, and Hughes talking about the need to cultivate consumer trust by countering misinformation.
Miller also seemed to be impressed with the youths.
“I think the parents and grandparents can be very proud of the exhibitors here,” he said. Also, “whoever ordered the weather this morning, I sure want to thank them.”

Winning awards
Thursday’s fair events got underway with a business appreciation breakfast and chamber of commerce coffee in Expo II. Charles Atkinson, president of the Barton County Fair Association executive board, said the fair has received its 24th consecutive International Association of Fairs and Expositions Award, thanks to Friends of the Fair, Fair Board members, 4-Hers and others. “Over 700 hours of volunteer time went into the decorations,” he said.
This year’s decorative theme, “Just Be Claus!” is about Christmas in July, with educational exhibits about how Christmas is celebrated in cultures around the world..
The Barton County Fair continues through Sunday, at the Great Bend Expo Complex west of Great Bend.