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Parade of Champions
July 18, 2012 - Mike Donahey
“Boots, Buckles and Bunches of Fun” was the theme of the Central Iowa Fair which concluded Sunday. And fun it was for me, a born and bred “city boy,” who learns something about agriculture every time I attend.
I’m not making up the fun aspect. And one can’t beat the price — there is no gate admission.
Over the years I’ve covered several events at the fair, ranging from contests to untangle frozen tee-shirts to most recently, observing the meat goat competition. I had covered livestock competition in other years, but never meat goats. Impressive is how Central Iowa youth have worked with their goats over a period of months to prepare them for the big day. One young man said he had started in April. I learned goats are evaluated on their behavior in the ring and physical condition. I noticed how Goat Superintendent Brad Weir gave instructions to the youth, encouraged all and told everyone to have fun shortly before they entered the ring. A real treat to see on the fair’s last day was the Parade of Champions — were all the fair grand champions are introduced. The emcee introduced each and then provided background on the winners’ projects. There was much livestock, as well as clothing, photography and wood-working exhibits. The kids then walked around the ring with all to see, followed by deserved applause. Clearly, there are many talented young men and women in 4-H/FFA and based on what I saw of them last week, the country’s future looks bright.