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Good times at the county fair? Think Vintage ShowmanshipGood times at the county fair? Think Vintage Showmanship

Slideshow: At one county fair this summer, the tables were turned as parents came in the ring and kids became judges — making for a memorable afternoon.

Holly Spangler

August 9, 2019

35 Slides

The cattle barns at the Fulton County Fair in Illinois lit up for one hilarious afternoon again this summer as Vintage Showmanship turned the tables in the show ring, making adults into showmen and young people into judges — and where the kids yelled directions to their parents in the ring. Like last year, it made for just the right combination of fun and laughter.

The name got an upgrade this year, from “antique” to “vintage,” and the participants were just as eager, especially in choosing their costumes. The group was divided into two heats, and under the watchful eye of judge Grant Bedel, four winning senior showmen did the judging. The teenagers —Nathan Spangler, Kyle Eathington, Jenna Spangler and Emma Eathington — chose carefully, laughing hard all the way through.

In the end, they chose eight showmen as finalists: Robert Knott, Sheri Bennett, Tammy Foose, Erin Featherlin, Lonna Porter, Chris Janssen, Tad White and Kevin Roberts.

Sheri Bennett took home the coveted trophy for Champion Vintage Showman and Tad White brought home reserve. The title of “Most Room for Improvement” — also highly coveted — went to Chris Janssen (also known as Jose).

And in the end, all around the ring, every one of every age shared a laugh and a smile together at the Fulton County Fair.

Check out all the photos from the day in the slideshow below.

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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