The Nebraska State Fair ended on a high note with one of the biggest livestock competitions of the season. FFA and 4-H champions from around the state came together to represent their counties and participate in the 14th annual Nebraska Elite Showman competition.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska Rural Radio Association coordinate this event in cooperation with the Nebraska State Fair.
"I'm pleased that NDA and our partners are able to coordinate and sponsor events like the Elite Showman competition to reward 4-H and FFA students for their hard work and dedication to Nebraska agriculture," NDA Director Steve Wellman says. "Congratulations to the winners and to all of the participants for making this year's Elite Showman competition so exceptional."
Elite Showmen competitors must be ages 14 to 18 and be enrolled in 4-H or FFA. Counties are able to select only one student to compete at the Elite Showman competition at the state fair. Agricultural businesses and organizations generously contribute to the contest in order for the winners to receive prize money, along with their statewide recognition.
In this year's Nebraska Elite Showman competition, 34 participants represented their counties. Competitors are scored on beef, swine, sheep and goat showmanship, as well as interview skills and knowledge via a written test.
Along with first-, second- and third-place overall winners, winners are selected for each division. The top overall Elite Showman receives $2,000. The second-place finisher receives $1,000, and the third-place overall winner receives $500. Division winners are awarded $300 each. All other competitors receive a $50 prize.
The 2019 overall winners were:
- First place: Abby Scholz of Phelps County
- Second place: Creighton Hirschfeld of York County
- Third place: Chase DeVries of Adams County
The 2019 Elite Showman division winners were:
- Swine showmanship: Trevor Kirchhoff of Buffalo County
- Sheep showmanship: Abby Scholz of Phelps County
- Beef showmanship: Carly Rains of Saline County
- Goat showmanship: Creighton Hirschfeld of York County
- Written test: Jace Russman of Dawson County
- Interview: Abby Scholz of Phelps County
Other participants (and their counties) included: Carson Maricle (Boone), Camden Humphrey (Clay), Abigail Lutjelusche (Colfax), Katie Jo Utech (Dakota), Katelyn Pehrson (Dixon), Taylor Gregory (Dodge), Breanna Wilkinson (Douglas-Sarpy), Reid Richards (Fillmore), Conner Snyder (Frontier), Carter Holtmeier (Gage), Gracie Pinckney (Garfield), Alexis Tenski (Greeley), Sydney May (Hamilton), Ethan Uhlir (Howard), Brooklen Bear (Jefferson), Matthew Bruns (Lincoln), Fallon Wells (Merrick), James Wetovick (Nance), Bailey Boitnott (Otoe), Wynn Cannon (Polk), Tyler Uhri (Richardson), Lauren Kavan (Saunders), Abigayle Warm (Seward), Evan Tuma (Sherman), Alanna Fangmeier (Thayer), Alli Nielsen (Washington), Jamie Janke (Wayne) and Kacey Allen (Webster).
Photographs of the Elite Showman competition and the winners can be found at facebook.com/Nebraska.Department.Agriculture.