Nigerian dwarf, Nubian, Alpine, Lamancha, Saanen and Oberhasli goats of all colors and sizes were judged Friday morning in the main show ring at the Allen County Fair on Carroll Road. Some had horns, some were milking goats and others were meat goats. They and their handlers were all hoping to hear the judge pronounce them champion or reserve champion and then be handed the trophy and purple ribbon.
Twenty-four of the coveted trophies and ribbons were handed out to proud 4-H goat handlers. But that was just a drop in the proverbial bucket. The Purdue University Extension Allen County, which is in charge of the 4-H youth programs, ordered 242 champion trophies and 225 reserve champion trophies for presentation to the ultimate winners in the various livestock categories and 4-H project divisions.
In addition, 700 banners will be presented to champions and reserve champions in the livestock categories, and a total of 2,000 ribbons will be given out.
According to Samm Johnson, extension educator, 4-H youth development-non livestock, “the boxes of trophies here in our office in the Home Loan Bank Exhibit Building are a kid magnet. They really get a charge out of looking at all the glittering trophies.
“For myself, Barb Thuma, extension educator, 4-H development-livestock, and Amelia Buuck, 4-H summer project assistant,” says Johnson, “it's a full time job getting the trophies properly labeled with the competition class and the name of the class sponsor affixed to the trophy and then delivered with the specific ribbons to the show ring for presentation to the winners. We have a list of show times, so we know when to have the trophies ready. Project judging was done first, and the trophies, ribbons and special state fair ribbons will be awarded in some 60 categories Sunday at 5 p.m.”
A new gardening $25 Visa gift card award is being given for the first time this year by Green Leaf Inc. to the top gardening project in every county in the state. Also, Kroger Company sponsors a special food award based on the number of points the 4-Her has accumulated in their career. Ball Corporation awards a special certificate to a deserving youngster for food preservation. A scholarship is also presented from the Indiana 4-H Foundation.
Johnson says, “We're always looking for volunteers who want to get involved in 4-H. Even though we have around 250 now, we could always use more. To volunteer or to find out how to get a child involved in 4-H, call the Purdue University Extension Allen County office at 260-481-6826.”
Sunday's fair activities include: a nondenominational service by Cowboys for Christ at 8 a.m., an open horse show at 9 a.m., 4-H swine carcass show at 9 a.m. and Mud Bog & Dirt Drags at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The showmanship championship showdown between cow, pig, horse, llama and goat champion showmen will be held at noon.
Carnival rides and games will be reduced to $1 per ride in the last blast dollar day from 1 to 5 p.m., after which the 25th anniversary Allen County Fair will officially come to a close at 5 p.m.