4-H'ers find fun at sheep show

August 10, 2000

4-H'ers find fun at sheep show

By KERRI SACCHET / Staff Writer

Erin Canfield, 9, gave her sheep one more brush and took the halter off its neck.

She didn't expect to win first place in the show because of the animal's wrinkled coat and thin body.

Canfield spent nearly two hours each day preparing the sheep for the 4-H/FFA and Open Class Sheep Show at the Ag Expo Wednesday night, but she said winning isn't everything. To her, the best part of 4-H is having a good time.

"He probably won't do that good; but it's fun and I enjoy doing it," Canfield said.

After struggling to hold their sheep in place without halters during the show, the 4-H members are given different colored ribbons that assign each a winning place in the competition.

Ashley Hose, 16, said her sheep won fifth place in its class and she was content just to have participated in the event.


"I just like showing and meeting new people," Hose said. "It's just fun."

Hose said she and her fellow 4-H'ers are usually happy for each other during the shows for whoever takes home first place.

Joanna Calimer, expo publicity chairperson, said the most important aspect of 4-H club to many members is the knowledge they take in along the way. Learning good sportsmanship is part of the process, Calimer said.

"They clap for each other and support each other," Calimer said. "In 4-H we teach that everyone is a winner; what you get out of it are the life skills you learn."

Being able to fairly judge a competition while still giving the 4-H members pointers on their showing is what Becky Lynch Benfer said she tries to do.

Benfer, judge for the market sheep show, said it's tough to award places in the fitting and showing competitions, which reflect how the kids have raised their animals.

"In market classes its easy because its not personal because you're just judging the animal; in the fitting and showing it's a lot more personal and I hate to put someone in the last class," Benfer said.

Benfer said it is important for the kids to analyze why they may have received their placing and it is even more important for them to learn from the project.

"It's always a learning process; formerly being in 4-H myself I know that it took awhile before you make it to the top; raising animals is difficult and it takes an awful lot of work," Benfer said.

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