By Scott Halasz
XENIA — During the dairy portion of the Greene County Fair’s Showman of Showmen event Thursday, a lady walked up to Karissa Porter, mother of Mikal Porter and said, “That kid can show anything.”
Karissa Porter wasn’t so sure, but it turns out he can.
In his last year of 4-H, Porter won the premier event, his first victory in six attempts.
During the Showman of Showmen, the contestants travel from barn to barn to show six species including horse, hog, sheep, goat, dairy and beef. With each species, the handlers participate in a real show, complete with formations and questions specific to each animal. To be eligible for the competition, contestants must have won a past senior showmanship event for one of these animals.
Scores for each event are added up, and the person with the the top score wins. The highest possible score is 300. Porter amassed 272 points including two 50s. Makayla Dean (259) was second, followed by Sarah Harner (256), Danielle Norman (239) and Mitchol Anderson (234).
“It feels great just to be able to know I was showman of showmen,” Porter, a member of Jamestown Jr. Farmers and Just Horsin’ Around, said. “I think it’s extra special to be going out on top.”
The showmanship competition is somewhat unique in that entrants are sometimes forced to move out of their comfort zones to show animals they might not necessarily show otherwise. That was the case for Porter, who only shows horses and pigs. Porter found out showing a lamb was not as easy as a horse.
“I think I got the toughest lamb out there,” he said.
But Porter credited his friends who took time out of their busy days to give him some pointers on how to handle the various animals.
That’s what Just Horsin’ Around member Madison Kilbarger, and many other entrants do.
“There’s animals that you never touched before,” she said. “(Friends) are very helpful in showing me how to do all this. Lots of practice.”
For his effort, Porter took home a $100 prize. Dean, a member of Greene County Career Center FFA, received $75, Harner (Back 40) $50, Norman (Creative Christian Clovers) $30 and Anderson (Greene Acres) $20. Prizes were donated by Greene County FFA Alumni Association.
The rest of the entrants were Haley Partee (Husky Hustlers), Shana Lott (Just Horsin’ Around), Kylie Mueller (Eager Beavers), Natalie Caudill (Family Traditions), Grace Norman (Creative Christian Clovers), and Nicole Hackman (Just Horsin’ Around).
Judges were Barb Gay (horse), Jeff Winkle (beef), Darby Dicke (dairy), Heather Johnston (hog), Beth Brown Ciul (sheep), and Jodi Moorman (goat).
Organizer Monette Randall credited the judges, who worked on their own time, along with Katie Finkes, who supplied the horse, and the junior fair board, which helped behind the scenes.