Local showmen win big at district, state fairs
Carroll County youth showed both their animals and their talent at the district and state fairs, bringing home several Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion titles.
Olivia Foster, the Carroll County agriculture extension agent, said that local showmen work throughout the year to prepare their animals for competition. Showmen work with their cattle for about two years, she said, as they prepare for various shows. Even smaller animals, such as goats and sheep, can take several months of training, she said.
Foster said each showman spends a couple hours every day working with their animal, and the results show how successful their efforts were.
The Northwest Arkansas District Fair was held in Harrison in from Sept. 17 to Sept. 24.
Cheyenne Dawson of Alpena won Grand Champion Registered Poland Hog.
Andrew Rexwinkle of Green Forest won Junior Showmanship, Reserve Grand Champion Arkansas Bred Lamb Association (ABLA) Market Lamb and Reserve Grand Champion Ewe in the sheep division and won Reserve Grand Champion Market Goat and Grand Champion Doe in the goat division.
His sister, Katelyn Rexwinkle, won Peewee Showmanship in the sheep division. She also competed in the hog division.
Nella Forney of Alpena won Grand Champion Angus Heifer.
Kaitlyn Armer of Green Forest won Junior Market Steer Showmanship.
Jerrod Hood of Berryville won the Herdsman Award, which is presented in memory of longtime exhibitor Colton Edwards. Foster said the award is presented annually to a hardworking individual who maintains their stall well and works well with other exhibitors.
Matti Walker, Lilian Armer and Brycen Armer of Green Forest also competed at the district fair.
The Arkansas State Fair was held in Little Rock from Oct. 12 to Oct. 22. Showmen could compete in the Open Shows, which are open to anyone, and in the Junior Shows, which are restricted to Arkansas 4-H Club members or Future Farmers of America (FFA) members in the state of Arkansas for the current school year.
Logan Sigmon of Berryville won Grand Champion Simmental Heifer and Reserve grand Champion Simmental Bull in the Open Show and won Grand Champion Simmental Bull, Reserve Grand Champion Simmental Heifer and Reserve Grand Champion Percentage Simmental Heifer at the Junior Show.
Jaci Whittmore of Berryville won Reserve Grand Champion AOB (Any Other Breed) Heifer in the Open Show.
Katelyn Rexwinkle won ABLA Pewee Showmanship in the sheep division.
Kendon McAlister of Green Forest won Reserve Grand Champion Showmanship in the cattle division.
Nella Forney won nine-year-old Hog Showmanship.
Andrew Rexwinkle, Kaitlyn Armer, Bojack Forney and Cheyenne Dawson also competed at the state fair.
Whittmore and McAlister even competed at the American Royal livestock show in Kansas City, Mo., in October.
Whittmore won Grand Champion Mini Hereford in the Junior Show and Peewee Showmanship. McAlister won first in his class with his new dual registered Chianina/Maintainer heifer.
Foster said it is amazing to see Carroll County showmen do so well at the competition.
Whittmore also competed in the Oklahoma State Fair and the Tulsa State Fair. She won two division championships, one reserve division championship and two first in class awards at the Oklahoma State Fair and won a division championship, two reserve division championships and first in class at the Tulsa State Fair.
“We have an amazing group of kids here in the county that are just incredibly competitive,” she said. “It’s so neat that we have that amount of talent right here and that we have so many kids who are able to be competitive on state and national levels. I think that’s something to be really proud of.”