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Brad Johnson column: Outstanding quality on display at fair exhibits this year

The 2009 Rowan County Fair will be remembered for many things.
Even though Mother Nature made the week miserably damp and rainy, temperatures were as ideal as could be asked for. The fairground itself was decorated nicely, with beautiful flowers and displays everywhere in the sight of fairgoers.
The fair appeared to host a tremendous number of exhibits in the field crops, horticulture, bakery goods and arts and crafts departments, with plenty of high-quality entries in the flowers, rose, food preservation, house furnishings and clothing departments.
Then there’s the livestock. The 2009 Rowan County Fair hosted record numbers of livestock, which were of truly outstanding quality.
Monday evening began with the junior breeding ewe show, with 28 Rowan County exhibitors showing 47 ewes. Judge Ed Birdsell, Turnersburg, selected a ewe shown by Cindy Connolly, Mount Ulla, as the Grand Champion Ewe and a ewe exhibited by Rebekah Moore, China Grove, for Reserve Champion honors.
Birdsell also evaluated the junior meat goat show (19 meat goats, 16 exhibitors), which was conducted Monday evening following the junior breeding ewe show. Abigail Wilson, China Grove, exhibited the Grand Champion Meat Goat, while Matthew Connolly, Mt. Ulla, exhibited the Reserve Champion Meat Goat. In the Senior Division of Meat Goat Showmanship, Jessica Hilton placed first, while Beverly Hampton, Mt. Ulla, won the Intermediate Division, and Cindy Connolly won the Junior Division.
Also conducted Monday evening was the Broiler Pen of Three show. Meghan Powers, Mooresville, exhibited the Grand Champion Broiler Pen of Three. Powers’ trio of 46 day-old broilers weighed 20.86 pounds, while the Reserve Champion Pen of Three Broilers, also 46 days old, exhibited by Caroline Stirewalt, Rockwell, weighed 20.66 pounds. The Broiler Pen of Three show is limited to 20 pens and is a cooperative effort of Piedmont Research Station, Rowan County Cooperative Extension, and the Rowan-Salisbury Schools with FFA programs.
The Rowan County Fair beef show Tuesday evening continued to build on its reputation as one of the most competitive county fair beef shows in North Carolina. Judge Lydell Meier, Clinton, TN, sorted 107 entries from 39 exhibitors that traveled from throughout the state to compete.
The Supreme Champion Female was exhibited by Taylor Ridling, Salisbury, and she was previously named Grand Champion All Other Breeds Female. The Reserve Supreme Champion Female was exhibited by Karl and Cortney Holshouser, Castalia, and she was previously named the Grand Champion Commercial Female.
The Supreme Champion Bull was exhibited by TX Enterprises, Winston-Salem, and he had previously garnered Grand Champion All Other Breed Bull honors. The Reserve Supreme Champion Bull was exhibited by Terrace Farms, Lexington, and he was previously named Grand Champion Hereford Bull.
Following his naming as Champion Senior Division Beef Showman, Garrett Teeter, Mt. Ulla, claimed Supreme Champion Beef Showman honors, while Milo Lewis, Walstonburg, was named Reserve Supreme Champion Beef Showman (she was previously named Reserve Champion Senior Division Beef Showman). Other youth competing in the Supreme Champion Beef Showman drive included: Catherine Harward, Richfield; Justin Teeter, Mt. Ulla; LeAnn Harward, Richfield; and Colt Sherrill, Mt. Ulla.
Dr. Jimmy Reber, Mt. Ulla, stepped in at the last minute to serve as the judge for the Junior Market Lamb Show, where he evaluated 53 lambs exhibited by 39 youth. Reber selected a wether exhibited by Beverly Hampton as the Grand Champion Market Lamb and followed with a wether exhibited by Bubba McLaughlin, Mooresville, as the Reserve Champion Market Lamb.
Reber selected Rebekah Moore as the top showman in the Senior Division of Market Lamb Showmanship, while Beverly Hampton won the Intermediate Division and Abigail Wilson received top honors in the Junior Division.
Rearranging the schedule to conduct dairy showmanship on Friday evening was a new change to the 2009 fair. Clair Wylie, Linwood, served as the judge and did a super job with the children. Wylie selected Steven Wetmore, Mt. Ulla, as the Supreme Champion Dairy Showman (he was the Champion Senior Division Dairy Showman), and followed that selection with Carrie Hoffner, Mooresville, as the Reserve Supreme Champion Dairy Showman (she was the Reserve Champion Senior Division Dairy Showman).
Other youth competing in the Supreme Champion Dairy Showman drive included: Shelby Karriker, Mocksville; Geoffrey Sink, Lexington; Megan Nooe, Statesville; Cody Weaver, Lexington; Valerie Karriker, Mocksville; Coby Privett, Ramseur; Becca Hudson, Lexington; Katie Surratt, Lexington, and Kylie Ward, Lexington.
The dairy show on Saturday continues to be one of the major highlights of the fair, as it is the largest county fair dairy show in North Carolina. This year’s show hosted 158 head, exhibited by 61 exhibitors, which Judge Kevin Lutz, Lincolnton, expertly evaluated in less than three hours. Corey Foster, Woodleaf, exhibited the Supreme Champion, which had previously been named Grand Champion Holstein. Kylie Ward exhibited the Reserve Supreme Champion and she had previously received Grand Champion Ayrshire honors.
Many of these champions, youth and livestock, have been, and will continue to be, extremely competitive at shows this fall, especially the North Carolina State Fair, October 15-25.
Livestock Show Sponsors: Black Sheep Club Lambs, Carolina Farm Credit, Cross Creek Cattle, Hager Farms, Overcash Farms and Hay Company, Rowan County Fair Association, Schering-Plough, Select Sire Power, Sunset Feeds.
Special thanks to RS Braswell, Myers Forest Products, Mark Menius and Family, The Garden Greenhouse, Market Lamb and Broiler Pen of Three buyers, Bob Hancock, Lazy 5 Ranch and especially, Rowan County Fair Association.
Brad Johnson is Extension Agent for Agriculture-Livestock and Dairy.

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