In YMC, 4Hers, animals take center stage

CANBY – Whether it was at the dairy, goat or horse show or pretty much any other activity at the Yellow Medicine County Fair, comprehensive preparation seems to be the key to success.

Most of the youngsters participating in the 4-H competition had spent many months getting ready for the fair. For livestock exhibitors, it meant selecting appropriate animals, nurturing those animals along and making sure they were well-groomed, especially at the last minute.

“I need to wash her hooves and wipe her down,” Canby 4-H member Trisha Hoffman said about her goat named Arial. “Some people, if they didn’t bathe them (Wednesday), they have to bathe them (Thursday). But Arial had a good bath already.”

Along with Arial, a junior doe kid, Hoffman showed Yoshi, a senior doe kid. Arial and Yoshi are both alpine dairy goats.

“She got the goats in May, but then we were on vacation for 17 days,” Trisha’s mother, Pauline Hoffman said. “She had to train them. She didn’t have much time, but she tamed them well.”

Trisha Hoffman, who began in Clover Buds, but is now in the Werglund Willing Workers 4-H club, got her first goats when she was 5 years old.

“I love goats,” she said. “You don’t really understand goats until you get them.”

Hoffman’s hard work and dedication to her goats was rewarded with high placings at the fair on Thursday. Hoffman earned grand champion honors with Arial in the junior doe kid class.

“It felt good,” she said.

Hoffman then proceeded to the senior dairy showmanship competition along with Prairie Runner 4-H member Samantha Carlson and fellow WWW club members Brooke Nelson and Michael Peterson.

“OK, move your goat into second place,” judge Mark Jaeger said to Hoffman.

Jaeger continued to have the competitors change positions and then asked them to switch goats.

“Look the goat over and tell me one good point and one thing you’d change about the goat you have right now,” Jaeger said. “This is senior showmanship, so you need to know all these points.”

Jaeger listened to the youngsters’ comments and offered his own positive direction.

“Most of you have very good eye contact as you were moving the goats around to different positions and setting them up,” he said. “The whole point of showmanship is that I should see you at all times as you move your goat up and down the line. Nice job.”

Carlson ended up taking grand champion honors with her Saanen dairy goat named Faye, while Hoffman and Arial were awarded reserve champion.

With the temperature surpassing 90 degrees Thursday, Canby youngster Nicole Kamrath decided to water down Dazzle, her 1-year-old beef cow.

When asked if she was cleaning Dazzle up or cooling her off, Kamrath said it was a “little of both.”

“She’s part of my cow-calf pair,” Kamrath said. “Her baby is called Razzle and was born in March.”

Kamrath said she had been showing livestock since she was in third-grade.

“It’s fun,” she said. “I can have harder projects and then her. She’s pretty easy. I showed Dazzle as a calf last year and now this year as a cow-calf pair.”

Morgan Cleveland, a member of the Osh Kosh Wide-Awakes 4-H club, was also very conscientious of the temperature and the needs of her 4-month-old Simmental/Chianina cross steer.

“His name is Sir Loin and I’d say he’s close to 300 pounds,” Cleveland said as she patiently waited for her steer to drink from the water trough. “He’s very thirsty (Thursday).”

Cleveland said she enjoyed showing cattle, noting that this was her second year doing that.

“It’s hard work, but it’s fun,” she said.

While beef cattle judging didn’t take place until Friday, the dairy cow competitors hit the show ring Thursday afternoon.

With a brush in one hand and hairspray in the other, Kaylen Weidert of Canby put the finishing touches on her Holstein dairy cow shortly before show time.

“I’m fluffing the tail to get ready for show,” Weidert said. “The judges like that. I’m showing dairy, beef and swine, so I’m very busy.”

Along with Weidert, Logan Stelter, Daniel Hall and Justin Torke, Wood Lake ninth-grader Sadie Stelter also had dairy cows to show.

In the fall calf class, Logan Stelter took first-place, followed by Hall and Sadie Stelter.

Each received blue ribbons. Sadie Stelter then won the fall senior class for her yearling. Torke took junior dairy champion honors with his winter calf, while Stelter was awarded reserve champion with her cow. For overall in show, Weidert earned a purple ribbon for her 2-year-old cow, while Torke was reserve champion overall with his winter heifer.

Competition was also tough Thursday in the horse arena, where the Yellow Medicine County Horse Club participants showed what they had in the English, Western pleasure and games divisions.

The senior class included Taylor Donahue, Christeen Groenhoff, Kelly Husby, Teal Miller, Brenna Sherod and Elsie Simonson, while intermediate competitors included Morgan Groenhoff, Holly Oftedahl, Anais Sorenson, Brittany Thooft and Bailey Wiekre. Junior entrants were Tucker and Lucas Groenhoff.

“We’ve been here since 8 a.m.,” said Laura Oftedahl, who was assisting with the horse show. “It’s such a good program for the kids. We meet here at the Canby arena every Wednesday night and have clinicians every time.”

Earlier in the day for Western pleasure, grand champion honors went to Husby (senior) and Holly Oftedahl (intermediate). Tucker Groenhoff was the junior pleasure champion.

The final competition was in games, which included barrels, pole-weaving, keyhole and jump-figure.

Oftedahl ended up earning grand champion honors in games, while Wiekre was reserve champion on Ike, a palomino gelding.

Sherod was the senior games grand champion, while Husby and Donahue tied for reserve champion.