The county fair holds a special place in Monroe County’s heart. It’s more than just a week of competitions; it is a celebration of the youths’ hard work in agriculture, exhibits, entertainment, and education.
This year the Monroe County Fair took place from July 11th to July 16th, but Lindsay Link, long-time livestock shower, explained that kids start preparing a very long time before the competitions begin.
“Equally, [all livestock] take time and dedication,” said Link. “Showing pigs, you have to walk them everyday, feed them, and keep a nice muscle mass on them. Showing cattle, you have to break them to tie, and lead. You have to walk them everyday, feed them twice a day, bathe them at least every other day, and spend time with them. Showing a horse is much easier, but you still have to ride at least once everyday, work on patterns, posture, and correct leads. You need to have a relationship with your horse, a bond that no one understands.”
Link was introduced to the fair by FFA, but 4-H is another important staple in these competitions. This is how Russell Mitchell became involved. In fact, because of his passion for the organization, he rose to become a 2015 State Officer for the Missouri State 4-H Council.
When asked, ‘What does 4-H mean to you?’ Mitchell responded, “4-H means that you can do whatever you want to achieve in life. It can help you learn new skills and become an all around better person. There are studies that show that an individual in 4-H is more likely to attend school, make better choices, and develop good adult partnerships. Honestly I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for 4-H and all it has done for me.”
Link agreed. “Showing livestock helped me branch out and meet people with the same interest and travel to different counties and towns,” said Link. “It’s amazing who I’ve become and continue to become. I wouldn’t be where I am without showing.”
Lastly she added, “To me, it can be more difficult than most people realize, but it’s hard work and dedication. At the end of the show, it pays off not in money but in the place you receive and how proud parents are of you.”
I don’t think Link could be any more correct.
The Livestock Show Results were released this week and you can find them here. This article will be updated with further competition results when they become available.