The St. Paul Green Grazers 4-H club sent 22 students to the Marion County Fair July 10-13, with the entire group placing third overall for large livestock herdsmanship.

“Clubs are judged on caring for the animals throughout the day, cleanliness of stalls, aisles and tack areas, and members’ interaction with the public,” group leader and parent Wendy Brentano LINDSAY KEEFER - Getting pretty - Sara Pierson prepares her animal for show at the Marion County Fair.

In dairy showmanship, Tyler Veeman was named Grand Champion Showman and his sister Taysha Veeman earned Reserve Champion Showman (second place). She went on to win the Round Robin Grand Champion event for intermediate class (grades 7-9), in which the grand champions from each livestock category compete against each other.

Students in 4-H, who range from grades 4 through 12, are judged on their personal showmanship as well as the showmanship of their animals.?If they receive a blue or red ribbon, and if they’re within a certain weight restriction, they’re eligible to be sold at auction the last day of the fair.

For the first time in a number of years, four animals raised by Green Grazers weren’t eligible for auction.

“They can still sell them on their own,”?Brentano said. “But it’s hard. It’s a life lesson for these kids that if you go into business, it’s not always a sure thing.”

Many of the students get involved in showing livestock so they can put sales toward a college fund.

“That’s part of the reason I show pigs,” seventh-grade student Zach Brentano said. “Pigs sell for an average of $4 a pound, and because they weigh more than sheep and goats, you get a lot more.”

But others choose their animals based on their individual preferences.

“I chose sheep because I don’t like to do what everyone else does,” sixth-grade student Taylor Faber said. “They’re not as messy and they’re easier to train.”

But pigs seem to be the Green Grazers’ favorite, especially to start out, as both novices (first-time competitors) in the group fared well in their category: both fourth-grade students, Brody Schindler and Clancy Koch, advanced to the final competition, in which they made up one-third of the competition. Schindler walked away with second place (reserve champion) and Koch placed fifth.

Green Grazer results

Dairy Showmanship

Tyler Veeman, Grand Champion Showman

Taysha Veeman, Reserve Champion Showman, Round Robin Grand Champion, intermediate class (grades 7-9)

Swine Showmanship

Novice division (first-year competitors)

Brody Schindler, Reserve Champion

Clancy Koch, fifth place

Junior division (grades 4-6)

Madelyn Nicklous, third place

Allyson Nicklous, fourth place

Steven Coppola and Hayden Schindler, finalists

Intermediate division?(grades 7-9)

Zach Brentano, third place

Wyatt Bean and Turner Lear, finalists

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