The 7th Annual Iowa County Master Showman Contest was held at the Iowa County Fair on Labor Day weekend. The top two senior showman from the beef, dairy, goat, sheep and swine project competed for the overall title of Master Showman.
The competition crowns an overall winner and runner-up. This year for the first time, two $1,000 scholarships were awarded to participants from previous years that are furthering their education at an accredited university or technical college.
Master Showman Contest participants complete against one another in showing all five species, beef, dairy, goat, sheep and swine. Exhibitors are evaluated on their ability to answer questions and how well they show each species in a series of rounds. The judges rank the participants on their showing ability, species knowledge and attitude in the show ring. Each judge is experienced in showing the livestock species they are observing. Judges for the event included: Beef – Grace Link, Dairy – Jenna Broege, Goat – Mackenzie Torstenson, Sheep – Ron Patterson and Swine – Kayla Klitzman.
At the end of the competition, exhibitors are asked to answer a question related to the livestock industry. This allows the participants to gain public speaking experience and it serves as a tie breaker for the competition. This year’s Iowa County Master Showman Contest winner was Joey Robinson from Mineral Point with Julia Searls from Cobb named runner-up.
Over the past four years, a benefit pie auction has been held at the conclusion of the competition. Participants from each species have made it a fun competition trying to raise the most money. After building a fund, the committee was able to award two $1,000 scholarships to past participants for the first time. Anyone who had previously competed in the contest and is furthering their education was eligible for the scholarship award. The inaugural recipients of this award were Nathan Daniels from Cobb and Morgan Vondra from Mineral Point. In addition to the scholarships, each of the ten participants received a $100 cash prize for partaking in the competition.
This year’s pie auction raised over $5,000 for future scholarships and prize money. The generosity of Iowa County families involved in the livestock project has allowed this program to continue to grow year after year. The Iowa County Master Showman Contest is comprised of Melissa (Doyle) Jacobson, Laura Daniels, Val Gaffney, Morgan Fitzsimmons and many additional volunteers. This group is excited for the future of this contest and hopes to continue to award scholarships and awards to the very deserving youth of Iowa County.
The Iowa County Master Showman Contest would not be possible without the support of the following generous sponsors: Iowa County Farm Bureau, Iowa County Farmers Appreciation Day, Gaffney Family Cattle and Lucky Cow Coffee and Gelato. To learn more or contribute to the Iowa County Master Showman Contest please contact, Morgan Fitzsimmons at [email protected]