When listing her 4-H projects for the Jackson County Fair, it might be easier for Allison Wynn to say what she doesn’t do.

When the county’s largest event arrives July 26, the 12-year-old will be busy showing or taking care of rabbits, goats, pigs, sheep and dairy goats. Also, her projects in scrapbooking, wildlife, veterinary science, cake decorating, sewing, photography and pocket pets will be on display.

So why be involved in so many things? The Brownstown Central Middle School seventh-grader said it’s to help prepare for a career as a veterinarian. It comes as no surprise that her favorite 4-H project is veterinary science.

“I like being around the animals and knowing that I’m going to be with animals pretty much forever,” Allison said of why it’s her favorite.

After a year of Mini 4-H, which is for kindergartners through second-graders, Allison started in regular 4-H four years ago. She said she joined the program since her family had a variety of animals on their farm in Freetown.

In her first year of 4-H, Allison worked with goats, pigs, chickens and rabbits and earned about 15 trophies. The next year, she added sheep, received about 20 trophies and had veterinary science and wildlife projects entered into the Indiana State Fair.

Her success motivated her to add more projects her third year and this year, including sewing and photography. Last year, she again picked up close to 20 trophies.

Of all of the animals she works with, Allison said, goats are the easiest.

“One we have, we’ve had her since she was a baby, and she was bottle-fed, so they are more (comfortable) around humans,” she said.

Sheep are the most difficult, Allison said. Though, she said there is one on the farm that’s easier to work with than the others because she has spent more time with it.

Since school has been out for the summer, Allison spends around three hours a day with the animals on the farm.

“You try to walk them, and when they won’t move, we have to talk to them, and then they’ll move,” she said of the sheep. “Our goats, we haven’t really walked them because they are just used to us. The rabbits, we get in there and brush them so they get used to us.”

For each animal project, 4-H’ers maintain a workbook and explain what they do in caring for them, and that’s turned in and graded. That’s in addition to showing the animals during the fair.

This year, the only animal Allison won’t show is chickens because of the statewide ban on poultry designed to prevent the spread of H5 avian influenza virus or bird flu. So she said she will do a poster about bird flu.

With non-animal projects, Allison already has made a pillow and is working on sewing a shirt and a skirt, which she will model the Monday before the fair. Her other projects will be turned in the week before the fair to be judged.

Once fair week arrives, Allison said, she will be busy pretty much every day, either showing or taking care of her animals.

“My favorite thing is being in the rabbit barn when people are just walking through it and they say, ‘What kind is that?’ and you tell them, and they are just fascinated by it and they love it,” she said.

Allison said her goal this year is to win master showmanship with one of her animals. In her second year of 4-H, she earned reserve master showmanship in dairy goats.

Each type of animal has rookie, junior, senior and master classes. Showmanship involves the 4-H’ers proving their knowledge of their animals and showing their handling skills.

Jason Wynn, Allison’s father, said he would like to see her work toward supreme showmanship, where top handlers of Boer goats, swine, sheep and cattle show each of those animals. It’s the biggest show of the fair.

“That would be kind of a big deal that I’d like for her to work, by at least the end of her 10 years (of 4-H), to get to that point,” Jason Wynn said.

To earn that title, Allison would have to learn about cattle from other 4-H’ers because the family doesn’t have those on their farm. A couple of years ago, Allison helped a 10-year 4-H’er learn how to lead goats so that person could try and earn supreme showmanship status.

On several other occasions, Allison has helped fellow 4-H’ers get started with different types of animals. That’s something she said she likes doing.

“I like helping people,” she said. “One of my friends that started 4-H at the same time, we had her goats here for a while, and I’ve helped her show her goats if she needed it.”

Allison also is passing on her knowledge to her younger brother, Conner, 9, who is in his first year of 4-H.

That makes their parents proud.

“I see them get along on a different level. They probably get along better in the barn than they do anyplace else,” their mother, Amy Wynn, said.

“When they are down working with the animals, they know they have a goal that they have to get this done before they can (do other things), so they kind of work together to accomplish that goal,” Jason Wynn said.

The youngest Wynn child, Maggie, 4, also is getting started with animals, doing peewee shows this year before starting Mini 4-H next year.

Amy Wynn is pregnant with the couple’s fourth child — a girl — so it’s expected that she will someday follow in the footsteps of her siblings.

“If (Conner) knows, and then when my little sister starts 4-H, he’ll be able to show her, and then she’ll be able to show our other little sister,” Allison said.

Allison’s summer doesn’t completely revolve around 4-H. She recently finished playing in a youth softball league and helped the team win the league and tournament titles, and she also takes piano lessons.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Wynn file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Allison Wynn

Age: 12

Residence: Freetown

Education: She will be a seventh-grader at Brownstown Central Middle School in the fall.

Organizations: 4-H, youth softball league

Family: Parents, Jason and Amy Wynn; siblings, Conner, 9, Maggie, 4, and another sister on the way

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

From sheep to swine to scrapbooking to sewing, Allison Wynn is involved in several 4-H projects for this year’s Jackson County Fair, which starts July 26.

For the next three weeks, Allison will submit a weekly diary to The Tribune, explaining the work that she is doing to get ready for the fair.

Then every day of fair week, she will share her experience with Tribune readers.


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