On the final day of the Audrain County Youth Fair, a highlight focused on the talents of the young men and women who have dedicated much of their lives to the raising of livestock and taking the art …
On the final day of the Audrain County Youth Fair, a highlight focused on the talents of the young men and women who have dedicated much of their lives to the raising of livestock and taking the art seriously.
On Tuesday, the Master Showman was announced in both the senior (ages 15-20) and intermediate (ages 11-14) classes.
Laddonia’s Tucker Robnett captured the grand senior division distinction with Centralia’s Shane Rhoades earning reserve and Coltin Cope was the intermediate division winner followed by Lydia Van Schyndel who was tabbed reserve.
In the senior division, Robnett qualified for the competition through his success in the beef category while Rhoades entered via goats. The other two that showed their talents in the senior division were Callie Jennings of Laddonia (swine) and Adam Rhoades of Centralia(sheep).
The Master Showman is only in its second year at the fair and puts more focus on the talent the young men and women display in raising and working with their animals.
“I think showmanship is one of the true thing that money doesn’t matter and it comes down to how you work and take care of them,” Robnett said. “It’s more than just who has the most money and can buy a nice animal. You still have to work at it and make it good. It’s about the time you put into it.”
Shane Rhoades said being scrutinized for the ability to work with four different animals puts a bigger onus on their respective talent, than maybe just working with one species.
“It’s way harder,” he said. “When you are out there showing all those animals, you have to know how to work with each animal to do what you want it to do. Each animal is different in their own ways. You have to set them up and make sure they are each presentable to the judge.
“It takes talent to do well with one animal and win, but to do all four, shows you are a pretty good showman.”
Shane Rhoades said with the different personalities and quirks of each species, it can only mean different challenges – as he learned when a nervous cattle got a little prickly whereas a sheep might be easier to deal with.
“I mean a cow? That’s a thousand-pound animal,” he said. “It’s about knowing which button you can and cannot push and how to treat the animal is important in being able to go out and show.”
Robnett added it’s about being gentle and patient or it can all backfire.
He added that he will likely attend the University of Missouri and study in agriculture sciences and genetic reproduction to ultimately work on the family farm. He also will attend a few more fairs.
Shane Rhoades will be a junior at Northwest Missouri State.
He will continue his studies in agricultural education, admitting he likes being around FFA and the animals.
“It was nice going out on top a little bit,” Rhoades said. “The success here will be motivation to carry it through the year and help me in school.
“The show game is not only fun and you meet a lot of new things and a lot of great people.”
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