Fair gives kids chance to compete

Youth events range from goat showing to pedaling.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:02 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Savannah Angell, her three sisters and their cousins have made it a tradition to spend three or four nights of the Boone County Fair camping in the pig barn.

“Sometimes it’s hard to actually sleep, with all the noise the pigs make,”

11-year-old Savannah said. “It smells a little, but it’s not deadly. It’s really fun, though.”

The kids have been sleeping in the barn during the fair for four years now.

Savannah said that because she and many of her cousins show pigs, it made sense for them to spend the night there.

Savannah, of Centralia, has shown pigs, steers and horses in the past, but this year she took on a new challenge. She showed her two goats, Jasmine and Jamie, in the 4-H/FFA Dairy and Meat Goat Show on Tuesday night. The goats were registered to compete in the middleweight and lightweight meat goat divisions. Jasmine won second place in the lightweight division, and Savannah won the top showmanship award in the 8- to 11-year-old class.

When the award was announced, Savannah was praised for her handling of the goat, her ability to answer questions posed by the judge and her politeness.

“Showmanship is really based on the kid, and not so much on the animal,” said Lisa Lamm, chairman of the meat goat show. “It’s about their ability to appropriately show the animal.”

Savannah was excited about the placement of the goat and her own award, but admits that showing goats involves a great deal of work.

“You have to train them to lean and shave them and clip their feet,” she said. “It’s not easy, but it’s not that hard. My mom and my sisters help out. Between all of us, we get it done.”

There were 50 meat goats and 10 dairy goats in the show, which was judged by national goat shower Gretchen Carroll. Meat goats are judged for their muscularity and body capacity, and dairy goats are judged for their capacity to produce milk and the functionality of their udders.

Also at the fair Tuesday night was the Pedal Pull competition, where children ages 5 to 12 could compete to see who could pedal a small tractor the farthest after it was attached to a weighted sled.

Mackenzie Thomas of Columbia got first place in the 5-year-old class at the pedal pull. She said this was her second year competing.

“I might do it again next year because I come here every year,” she said.

Mackenzie competed against three boys in her class.

“You had to beat all those boys, didn’t you?” asked her father, Mike Thomas.

“Yep,” Mackenzie said, “and I did.”

Mackenzie, along with the other top winners in each class, will compete in the state pedal pull championships in Harrisburg this fall.

Political debates scheduled for candidates seeking the 19th district state Senate seat and House seats in the 24th and 25th districts were cancelled due to poor attendance.

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