Grundy County Fair 4-H pet show has unusual overall champion

Left: Will Rogers of the Lincoln Junior Farmers 4-H Club won the honor of having the grand champion overall pet during the pet show with his chicken at the Grundy County Fair on July 20. Talasia Meester took the reserve grand champion overall pet honors with her cat. She is a member of the Buckington Barnstormers 4-H club. Right: Isaiah Clark of the Palermo 4-H Clover club won grand champion in the dog category with his bulldog Sam. Grundy County Fair Queen Westin Hansen is pictured with Isaiah in the photo after presenting him with the award.

GRUNDY CENTER – It wasn’t a dog, cat or rabbit that took top honors at the Grundy County Fair 4-H pet show. It wasn’t even a guinea pig or ferret. The overall champion pet was a chicken.

Shown by Will Rogers of the Lincoln Jr Farmers 4-H club, the chicken won the other pet category champion and was then named overall grand champion pet by judge Laura Miller of Cedar Falls.

Miller said she has been judging 4-H pet shows for 10-12 years because she really likes kids and pets which makes it a natural fit. Her 4-H involvements spans 45 years.

When asked what she looks for in judging, Miller said she asks the boys and girls to tell her about their pet, what they do to take care of their pet and how they address health concerns. She said she looks at the condition the pet is in when brought to the show and studies the exhibitor’s overall knowledge of the pet.

Rogers won overall pet with his knowledge of how the chicken was going to be used to make money for college, among other facts he presented to the judge. He was also named reserve showman.

Miller said that in the Clover Kids category she just wants them to be comfortable in the process of talking with her so that they will want to continue to show pets when they get to 4-H.

Show superintendent Liz Rogers said that the 12 exhibitors was a medium size group for the Grundy County Fair compared to years back, but that they had a nice group of Clover Kids this year to build on for next year

“Overall we have a nice diverse group of animals being shown,” Rogers said.

Isiah Clark of the Palermo 4-H Clover club was in his second year of showing in the pet show with his bulldog, Sam. “It is fun to show and tell people about my pet,” he said.

“I like talking about my cat Badger and telling other people about him,” said Tessa Smith of the Lincoln Junior Farmers.

“We just hope that these kids will keep coming back and encourage others to join them for next year’s fair,” Miller said.