Anyone who wins a showmanship contest is worthy of praise. Parents with money can buy animals that will compete for purple ribbons if they choose, but only members who work hard and train their animals have a shot at winning showmanship.
When Kyle Albertson won Senior Sheep showmanship and then Grand Champion Sheep Showmanship at the Benton County 4-H Fair this summer, it's possible there was more applause than normal. Kyle is a dedicated 4-H member who has overcome physical obstacles most kids don't face.
His other, Tracy, says he was diagnosed with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy Merosin Negative when he was 9 months old. He never crawled or walked. He's had a power wheelchair since he was 2 years and 9 months old.
That hasn't stopped him from doing things other kids do, including camping, boating and being in FFA, his mom says. He is also on a power soccer team.
How can you show a sheep if you can't walk? You lead the sheep with your power chair. A bracket was fitted so the sheep could be tied to the chair.
If you think it was a sympathy move on part of the judge, those who saw it say you would be dead wrong.
"He works hard and he definitely deserved it," another parent at the fair observed. The parent also noted that the judge commented that Kyle knew more than anyone else about livestock when he asked questions.
Kyle was also able to participate in Master showmanship. He showed a pig, goat and a sheep. He didn't show a steer due to safety reasons.
The seven-year 4-H'er has diverse interests. He completed a model car in 4-H which earned reserve grand champion at the county fair, and a second place ribbon at the Indiana State Fair.
Congratulations to Kyle on his achievements! Go learn more about this story visit my blog.