Showing livestock at the Indiana State Fair this year, Jackson County 4-H’ers walked away champions in various ways.
While earning top titles was nice, they all agreed they gained valuable intangibles from the experience.
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Lola was the star of her show.
The Sim-Solution heifer led by Brownstown Central High School junior Clint Main won 4-H supreme champion heifer.
“It was a wonderful experience and something I’ve always wanted to accomplish,” he said. “It has been a goal for my family to win the supreme heifer state fair show since my older brother, Clayton, started showing. It was the most amazing experience ever. It’s hard to describe the feeling I had that night. It was truly a dream come true.”
To make it even better, Jackson County took the top two spots with Payton Farmer, a 2019 BCHS graduate, winning reserve champion.
“Payton and I have been friends for a while,” Main said. “She has helped and taught me a lot, so it was really cool competing against her in the final drive.”
Last year, Main said he placed fourth overall with Lola.
“She was a fall-born calf at that time,” he said. “Lola has claimed many champion titles in her show career, including the National Western Livestock Show in Denver. Showing Lola has been fun.”
Also at this year’s state fair, Main placed sixth overall with his Charolais steer, Rico.
Main said he has shown at the state fair since he started 4-H.
“Showing at the county fair is fun, especially this year because I was selected 4-H supreme heifer with my Chi heifer,” he said. “Showing at the state fair is a lot more fun and competitive. There’s a lot higher quality of animals.”
Seymour High School sophomore Lillie Wessel had good showings with her pigs, Francisco, Maria and Francesca.
She won champion spot barrow senior showmanship with Francisco.
“I’ve shown him a bunch over the summer, and I thought he would act the best,” she said. “They have to act right, like go the right speed and then keep their head up and just make sure he doesn’t fight me, so he acted well.”
She later competed for overall champion and was the youngest in the drive, which was won by a 10-year 4-H’er.
The next weekend, she earned champion senior Hereford gilt showmanship with Maria.
“She actually didn’t act very good, but somehow, I still managed (to win),” Wessel said.
Then she earned bred and owned reserve champion gilt and placed fifth overall spot gilt with Francesca.
“She was my favorite by far,” Wessel said. “She was just a big baby. If I would get in the pen with her, if she was laying down, she would sit up and then I would get over there and she would just lay her head on my lap. Then if anyone else got in there, she didn’t like anyone other than me. I was the only person that she liked.”
Wessel said this was her fourth year competing at the state fair. She has won showmanship and classes in the past.
“Showmanship-wise, I feel like I keep getting better,” she said. “At the county fair, I also got grand champion master showman, and then I competed in the supreme showmanship contest. Everyone said that me showing in master, that’s the best I’ve ever shown. I didn’t make one mistake.”
She said she likes competing in the swine barn at the state fair.
“It’s very good competition,” she said. “The Indiana State Fair is probably the hardest swine show in the nation. Indiana is just so much more progressed. All of the pigs are just a lot better in Indiana. Even when you go to national shows where other states, like Iowa and Illinois, come, Indiana always just does awesome. You’ll look at results … and you’ll see a ton of Indiana kids winning.”
Jenna and Mallory Klosterman
Twins Jenna and Mallory Klosterman, both seventh graders at St. John’s Lutheran School Sauers, took two gilts and two barrows to the state fair.
Jenna placed fifth overall Duroc barrow in Division I with Bennett and was champion intermediate landrace gilt showman with Lola.
“My pigs and I both had walked together since March, and so when they got in the pen, my pigs knew where to go when I tapped them with my whip,” Jenna said.
Mallory placed fourth overall landrace barrow with Spot On and was champion intermediate landrace barrow showman.
“After working a lot this summer and just knowing what the judges were looking for, my pig knew where to go when I showed it in the ring,” Mallory said.
Both girls said winning at the state fair was very special because it reminded them that all of their hard work and all of the time in the barn paid off.
They had shown pigs at the state fair in previous years, including having champion pigs last year and showing in the grand drive at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
The girls also like showing at the county fair, but being at the state fair is different because there are a lot more pigs to show against. They like getting to show with and against kids they have been showing against all summer at jackpot shows.
While the twins admit they do argue sometimes, they spend most of their time encouraging each other on show day and when working with their pigs. They have competed against each other in showmanship and grand drives at the county fair and jackpot shows, and they say they are competitive and both want to win, but they are excited when one or both wins.
The Klostermans like being a show team with their brother and their cousins.
One of their cousins, Hailey Hobson, competed at the state fair with two barrows and two gilts. The Sauers sixth grader wound up third overall Chester gilt with Pearl and was reserve champion Duroc junior showman.
“I felt like this was the best she looked and walked all year,” Hobson said of Pearl. “It meant a lot knowing all the hard work and time paid off. Plus, we do this as a family, so I was glad that everyone got to be there and be involved and be part of the success we all had.”
This was Hobson’s third year at the state fair. Last year, she was fourth overall Chester gilt.
“The state fair has a lot more competition because there are so many pigs compared to a county fair,” she said. “This year, there were over 1,000 pigs gilt weekend.”
Hobson said she likes being around her family at the state fair.
“My twin cousins do a great job showing, and I love being around them and seeing how they help one another, but it’s also fun to see how competitive they can get,” she said.
“I really like showing pigs because it teaches me about working hard and achieving goals,” Hobson said. “I also get to spend time with all my family because we do this all together. Plus, I get to meet new friends.”