Sixty young livestock exhibitors vied for the title of “Grand Champion Overall Master Showman” on Aug. 12 during the 2022 Illinois State Fair Master Showmanship Contest.
The exhibitors, who were the winners of their respective 4-H county contests, showcased their skills and knowledge of animal husbandry at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
This prestigious competition invites 4-H members ages 14-18 years to display their showmanship skills across three species – beef, sheep and swine. The 4-Hers were judged on their ability to handle each animal, knowledge of the species and animal husbandry, as well as overall showmanship skills.
Three winners were named for each species and scores for all three species were tallied to determine the top ten winners overall. This year’s local contest winners include:
Fifth Place Overall — Cole Paulek of Stonington, representing Christian County. He is the son of Craig and Katie Paulek.
Third Place Swine Division — Sophie Trainor of Tower Hill, representing Shelby County. She is the daughter of Chuck and Ellen Trainor.
Nearly $8,000 worth of prizes donated by sponsors were awarded this year. First, second, and third place overall winners received $500, $400, and $300 cash (respectively), a new show box and other various prizes. Fourth and fifth place overall received a $200 and $100 cash (respectively) and an embroidered boot bag. Sixth through 10th place overall winners received a $25 gift card and a Bluetooth speaker.
Each species division winner received a $100 gift card and a zero-gravity chair. Each contest participant received a t-shirt, bucket, and $25 gift card.
This year marked the 22nd Annual Master Showmanship Contest held at the Illinois State Fair. This year's contest was hosted by Illinois Farm Bureau and the RFD Radio Network. Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. presented the awards. Congratulations to these outstanding young livestock exhibitors!