This year’s Hood River County Fair turned out to be a bountiful one for Upper Valley 4-H’ers and FFA students, many of whom came home with Champion and Grand Champion ribbons for their efforts
The students’ animals are judged in two categories, the first one is Confirmation, meaning the breeding, look and salability of the animal at auction, the other is Showmanship, or how the student presents and handles their animal in front of the judge and how much knowledge they have about it, from parts of their animal to particular diseases and treatments for them.
Each student is judged within their skill level or group such as Cloverbuds (grades K-3) novice, intermediate and senior divisions as well as Future Farmers of America, otherwise known as FFA students, who intend to make their living in the business of agriculture.
Students can win Reserve Champion (2nd Place) or Champion (1st Place) within their individual age and skill group, but Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion ribbons are awarded to the 1st and 2nd place animal or entry of all the skill groups.
Of the Parkdale Hood Hoppers 4-H,, Rachel Mooney won Grand Champion for her meat goat and her sister Madison Mooney received Champion Market Turkey and Reserve Grand Champion Market Poultry awards for the same animal.
The Zeman sisters, Sara and Katie, also did well this year with their sister fryer rabbits they raised, coming in with Grand Reserve Champion and Grand Champion ribbons respectively in Confirmation, then Katie made Reserve Champion overall.
Katie Zeman was also awarded Champion Junior Novice Meat Goat in Showmanship this year.
JoJo Summersett is Reserve Grand Champion for Showmanship and Grand Champion for Confirmation for her show chicken, a black Cochin Bantam.
The Hood Hoppers also did well in indoor exhibits with many champion and reserve champion ribbons going to Madison and Rachel Mooney, Kayla and Clayton Green, Megan Ball and Sara Zeman and several overall Grand Champion awards such as Megan Ball in Window Display, Foods for All, and My Favorite Outfit, Angela Bruggeman for Art, Madison Mooney for her Fresh Eggs and Photography entries and Samantha McCarty’s Educational Display on how to make llama tea, which is a fertilizer and not something to drink!
Madison Mooney was also awarded Champion Non-Market Duck and Fastest Growing Goat while her sister Rachel was awarded Grand Champion Market Goat and Angela Bruggeman won Grand Champion Dairy Goat.
The Mt. Hood 4-H group did well again this year with Celilo Brun being awarded Grand Champion Breeding Turkey, Champion Heritage Turkey Project, and Grand Champion for her succulent garden display and her junior record book.
Haylee Baker raised the Grand Champion Market Lamb and Gaby Santa Cruz the Grand Champion Breeding Ewe.
Showmanship apparently runs in the Baker family with Haylee earning Reserve Champion Intermediate Sheep Showman and Reserve Grand Champion Sheep Showman, while her sister Morgan made Reserve Champion Junior Swine Showman and Reserve Grand Champion Swine Showman.
Kaitlyn McNerney was awarded Champion Market Pig as well as awards for her leather pouch, CO2 wooden car and her favorite outfit and wearable art and sister Hannah received awards for her record book, art pictures, wall plaque and fudge.
Sammy Halseth won Grand Champion for her lavender cookies.
The Santa Cruz siblings of Gaby, Eric and Jackie were awarded several champion ribbons for their indoor displays of clay art, table settings, horse halter, wooden keepsake box, ceramic dishes, feed sack tote bags and cookies.
The Mt. Hood 4-H Cloverbuds, Mallory McNerney, Jocelyn Worsham, and Elly Fately, had fun this year trying their hand at showing a rabbit, keeping record books and making wearable art, cookies and feed sack bags.
Each year at Fair groups are awarded for Best Herdsmanship, or how they take care of their animals and their barn areas and this year the Mountain Top 4-H group won for small club and the Parkdale Hood Hoppers won the award for a for medium-sized club.
Several FFA students in the Upper Valley also did well at Fair including Tiffany Berquist with Grand Champion Market Goat, Eric Santa Cruz, FFA Champion Goat Showman, Natasha Muenzer, FFA Citizenship award and Stanley Ocheskey FFA Champion Swine Showman and 4-H/FFA High Individual Livestock Judge award.
There were so many award winners in the Upper Valley that some may have been missed in this column, so please read the award winner’s list in the special section of the newspaper for any that are not here.
Many students have animals and indoor entries that are eligible for State Fair this year and congratulations go out to all of them for their hard work this year.
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The Parkdale Hood Hoppers, Mt. Hood, and Mountain Top 4-H groups would like to thank the following companies and residents for purchasing their animals at this year’s FFA/4-H Animal Auction at the Hood River County Fair:
Beam and Couch Excavation, P & G Farms, McCarty’s Mechanics, Safeway, Les Schwab Tire Center, Secure Storage, Nate Clarke Painting, Oats Orchards, Valley Ag, Expertec, Frostline Farms, Kids Dental Zone, Windmaster Market, Mountain Brook Construction, Little Bit Ranch Supply, Chamberlain Distributing, Diamond Fruit Growers, Mountain View Orchards, Levi’s Custom Concrete, Columbia Pain Management, Lost Lake Resort, Farm Credit Services, Sheppard’s Orchard and Vineyard Equipment, Apple City Auto Body, Trout Creek Orchards, Hood River Supply, David Carter, Cascade Dairy, Ryan’s Hood River Juice, Mountain Valley Meat, ZZ Logging, Rhonda Johnston, Griffith Motors, Juanita’s, Chad Muenzer Repair, Pine Grove Orchards, Columbia State Bank, Moore Orchards, Tom Durham, Triple M Orchards, 3-G Inc., Timberman, Land Electric, and the generous donors to the buyers’ pool.