WIUM Tristates Public Radio

McDonough County 4-H Fair Shows Kids' Hard Work

Jul 12, 2013

One of the hallmarks of summer is going to the fair and for many kids in farm country the center piece of going to the fair is showing their animals.

Hayden Brent and his father David came to the fair from a farm near Walnut Grove. Hayden belongs to the Bushnell Busy Bees 4-H club and was showing his pig at the fair for the first time.

After his first show of the day he said he was nervous but has already learned some lessons, like to keep the pig's head up as he leads it around the show floor.

He said he plans on sticking with it.

Hayden said, "You get to meet different guys and uh," he paused and laughed, " and you get to make money."

Stephanie Nelson, a recent Western Illinois University Graduate was standing behind the main livestock barn during the cattle show. She started competing in 4-H shows when she was eight years old and said that what she did in 4-H  really helped her in college.

"My main goal was to take those heifers and continue with a calf crop that would pay for college and it did. So to graduate from Western with no student loans and still have ten cows is pretty cool," Nelson said.

Stephanie Nelson helped  sisters Katie and Sara Riggins from Macomb get ready between shows. She said that she wants younger kids to be able to learn the same lessons and skills she did from 4-h.

The sisters were both competing and both received championships in different divisions.

12 year old Katie did beat her nine year old sister Sara in one division.

Sara responded, with a little prodding from Nelson, "but don't worry I'll beat her next year."