By Ellen Simmons
The Showman of Showmen Contest at the Huron County Fair pits the best showman from each animal category against the others to determine the best overall.This year's competitors and their categories were Lauren Ott, beef; Isaiah Adams, dairy beef; Matthew Lund, dairy; Kendall Keene, market goat; Lauren Green, dairy goat; Molly Phillips, poultry; Lauren Hamer, rabbits; Morgan Boswell, sheep; Tara Eisenhauer, swine; Colton Puder, turkeys.The competitors show an animal from each species, and they are then scored on ability to present themselves and the respective animals to the judges. Good sportsmanship also plays a role in the judging.Because of outbreaks of the avian flu, no birds were allowed at the fair, and competitors were interviewed judged on their knowledge only.This year's first place winner was Lauren Ott, a graduate of Norwalk High School and a member of the Busy Needles 4-H Club. She has been showing animals for ten years and this fall will attend Michigan State University to study animal biochemistry.Lauren came in second in last year's competition and says this motivated her to study the areas in which she did not do well, which were chickens and turkeys. She says this year's biggest challenge was a jumping goat that did not want to keep all four feet on the ground at one time.Her advice to 4-Hers wishing to become Showmen is to "work hard, try your best and study all the animals."The second place winner was Molly Phillips, a senior at Willard High School and a member of the FFA and Flashes 4-H Club. Third place was Tara Eisenhauer, a recent graduate of Bellevue High School who will be studying animal science and agribusiness at The Ohio State University.Judges for the event were Jennifer Rettig, Roy Norman, Larry Lokai, Jim Weidenheft, Carolyn Sayler and Renee Burns.