Main, Martin win supreme showman titles at county fair


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He had participated in the Jackson County 4-H Supreme Showman Contest several times.

He also had shown goats, sheep and cattle during the Jackson County Fair.

Clint Main had those things on his side in Friday night’s contest in Show Arena 1 at the fairgrounds in Brownstown, and the 10-year 4-H’er took full advantage of his last opportunity to compete.

At the end of the contest, emcee Denise Stevens announced judge Jeremy Armstrong of Shelbyville chose Main as the 2021 supreme showman.

“I’m just ecstatic right now,” the 18-year-old 2021 Brownstown Central High School graduate said moments after receiving a trophy and a banner from event organizer Linda Myers.

“I actually find this more important than the actual shows themselves,” Main said. “This just proves that you are one of the better showmen in Jackson County and that you can do everything in your power to get an animal shown. I just really appreciate that.”

The Supreme Showman Contest, which started in the county in 2007, features master showman winners in their respective livestock breeds during fair week. The contest forces each 4-H member to step out of their comfort zone and show seven different breeds of farm animals: Swine, dairy cattle, dairy goats, dairy beef, sheep, beef and Boer goats.

Also Friday night, for the third year, the Junior Supreme Showman Contest was conducted before the Supreme Showman Contest. It featured the same species. Cooper Martin, 10, of Brownstown was chosen the winner by judges Samantha Jeffries, Kyle Benter, Ryan Benter, Kasandra Mack and Kaylee Branaman.

Main earned the right to compete Friday night after winning master showman in boer goats on the second day of the fair.

“I felt like bracing your goat was better than most of the people in there,” he said of what helped him win earlier in the week. “It was a breeding and wether show, so some people in that class also did not have to brace a goat. I thought that kind of stood me apart from everybody else.”

On Friday night, the other competitors were Brocker Bottorff, Trenton Burton, Charlie Hackman and Drew Vehslage.

Main said he did best with cattle.

“My cow was wanting to cooperate really, really well,” he said. “I could go out there and walk her into it every single time and do all of that and just get the best look the judge could possibly ever have.”

The most challenging was the sheep.

“My lamb wasn’t wanting to cooperate the most at all,” Main said.

So how did he overcome that in the moment?

“The best thing you can do is just stay calm, cool,” Main said. “Most judges understand what the sheep are supposed to do and how they are supposed to act. Usually, dairy cows are the most stubborn, but basically, just keep it calm, cool, collected and keep your eye on the judge as much as possible.”

Main said he has always wanted to earn the title of supreme showman, and he’s glad it happened in his final year of 4-H.

“I just felt like maybe I was calm and cool and collected the whole time,” he said of the difference this year compared to others. “That really sets you apart from everyone out there, especially when you’re going through all seven of the species.”

This week, Main said he is showing cattle at the Indiana State Fair. Then Aug. 19, he moves in at Purdue University, where he will study ag business.

Martin is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Main.

He’s only in his second year of 4-H. While he showed at the state fair last year, this was his first year showing at the county fair since only the virtual option was offered in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Martin also is different from Main in that he only shows one animal at the fair: Sheep.

He didn’t have much time to work with goats, a pig and cattle since he won his showmanship title at Wednesday’s sheep show.

Fortunately, several people experienced in those livestock stepped up to help, and he watched some videos to learn different parts of the animals.

“I didn’t think I was going to get it done,” he said, smiling. “I just found people that I knew.”

On Friday night, Martin competed against Dalton Lawyer, Brayton Nierman, Izzy Stanfield, Grayson Vague, Kassidy Wischmeier and Maggie Wynn.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Martin said, smiling, of being announced as the winner. “I felt like I did pretty good.”

His parents, T.J. and Katie Martin, and sister, Emma Martin, are proud of him.

“Coop’s pretty amazing,” T.J. said. “When he puts his head to it, he can do about anything he wants. He has really got a knack. Last year was our first year showing sheep, and it was pretty tough, but this year has kind of been like a light switch. He has just got it, and now, when he had the opportunity to go on to this, he has been great.”

Each night last week, T.J. said the family prayed, and Cooper’s prayers revolved around winning a banner after every show.

“Every day we’ve shown, he has come home with a banner. Our prayers have been answered,” T.J. said, smiling.

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