Achievement Days serves up a a test of nerves with tons of fun

Achievement Days serves up a a test of nerves with tons of fun The Absolutely Asha Dance Troupe provided entertainment during the 2003 4-H Fashion Revue, held at the Clay County Fairgrounds Saturday evening. Members of the troupe include (not in order) Kathryn Waldron, Robyn Hynes, Jessie Lovett, Elly Melby, Samantha Cooper and Samantha Devries. by Maya Ristic Work that started last May and earlier in some cases was rewarded last weekend at the Clay County Fair and 4-H Achievement Days.

Local 4-H'ers began bringing their livestock to the barns at the county fairgrounds in Vermillion last Thursday.

Achievement Days kicked off early Friday with the 4-H swine show.

Beginning at 7:30 a.m., gilts and market barrows were judged based on meat leaness and other factors that determine how well the animals were raised.

The livestock entries came in all shapes, sizes and weights, ranging from the hefty pigs and beef cattle, to the goats and sheep.

Lightweights of the Achievement Days were poultry and rabbits.

Twelve-year-old Sarah Bye received fourth place for her swine entry, which she raised at her cousin's farm.

Luke Heine, 13, was awarded reserve champion showman Friday morning.

"The difference between one animal being better than the other is based on genetics," Heine said.

Twelve-year-old Gerrit Heine received the reserve champion overall award. This accomplishment was given out for both gilts and barrows. "This is a good experience of responsibility for animal care-taking," Heine said. "It's also tons of fun."

Emily Holoch, 12, received two second-place blue ribbons. Her pigs Grumpy and Babe were a part of the show. "Grumpy was a pain to move, and Babe would get into collisions and play 'chewy toys' with others," Holoch said.

Twelve-year-old Shannon Jepsen received four first place purple ribbons.

She also was presented the junior swine champion showmanship award.

"Pigs are a pain, but if they are cool and relaxed, they like to move a lot," Jepsen said. "It gets nerve-wracking also."

The competition wouldn't be complete without the hired help of community members. Nick Hanson, a student at Vermillion High School, helped with the livestock show by cleaning, feeding, shearing sheep, and shaving hogs.

"The kids presented themselves well," Hanson said.

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