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'Quite honestly, I feel great'

By ELLEN SIMMONS • Updated Aug 19, 2018 at 7:15 PM

Ten exhibitors vied for the title of Showman of Showmen Saturday night in the final Junior Fair event for 2018.

All were the top showmen with their chosen animals, and they now showed their skill in working with all the species.

The competitors and their specialties were Austin Hunker, market beef; Kendall Keene, meat goat; William Flaherty, rabbits; Hannah Dumbeck, dairy; Malaina Rickel, dairy beef; Lesley Burton, poultry; Paige Hahler, sheep; Sami Ott, turkeys; Alex Linder, swine; and Danielle Kreglow, dairy goat.

As always, the competitors had to show their skill in working with animals they chose by literally pulling a number out of a bucket, and sometimes the animal was not too happy about participating in the event.

Whatever the challenges, however, each showman exhibited patience and skill, and once the dust settled, Alex Linder was chosen as the 2018 Huron County Showman of Showmen.

A sophomore at Western Reserve, Linder is class president and a member of the FFA. He also belongs to the Busy Needles 4-H Club.

When asked how he felt about being chosen he said, “Good — quite honestly, I feel great.”

Saying the most challenging part of the event was poultry, he added, “We never had chickens in the barn and I think they are gross. I prefer anything over chickens.”

Linder’s advice to future showmen is, to “work hard and don’t slack off. Listen to advice and know everything about the animals.”

He plans to attend college and become a science teacher and eventually a school administrator. Linder said short-term plans though were to “go back to my camper and sleep.”

Austen Hunker received second place in the competition, and William Flaherty was third. Hunker is a sophomore at Bellevue High School and a member of the FFA and the Lyme Producers 4-H. Flaherty is from Plymouth, where he is in the FFA and the Ripley Nifty Needlers & Cookers 4-H Club.

Judges for the contest were Ethan Douglass, Matt AcMoody, Sam Grauer, Pattie Saltzgaber and Tyler Crapo.

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