Tops in showmanship

ND leaders compete with help of 4-Hers at State Fair

Jill Schramm/MDN Gov. Doug Burgum gets instruction on handling Miss Cha Cha from 4-H member Anna Petersen Friday in preparing for the North Dakota Leaders Showmanship Contest in the beef division.

North Dakota’s leaders of today came away impressed with the state’s leaders of tomorrow after a crash course in livestock showmanship from top 4-H exhibitors at the North Dakota State Fair Friday.

The first North Dakota 4-H Leaders Showmanship Contest had 24 state and local leaders learning from champion and reserve champion winners at the 4-H intermediate and senior levels as they prepared to face off in the show ring with dairy goats, meat goats, sheep, swine and dairy and beef cattle.

“It was a blast,” said Gov. Doug Burgum, who trained in beef showmanship under 4-H member Anna Petersen of Bowbells. “This was really, really fun, and Anna is a terrific coach.”

Burgum said his experience with cattle has been more about branding and roping than competition showing, but he was pleased with his experience working with the young people.

“It’s fantastic to see. It gives someone optimism about the future leaders of North Dakota,” he said.

Jill Schramm/MDN Sen. Dale Patton of Watford City, left, learns about the dairy cow he will be taking to the show ring from 4-H member Chance Manhart of Golden Valley County.

“I think this is a terrific event to show state leaders what’s going on in the youth ranks,” Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, said. “It gives us confidence this country is in good hands.”

Although showmanship wasn’t necessarily new to him, showing a dairy goat was, said Wardner, who placed first in his division under the tutelage of Rylie Dohrmann of Dickinson.

Stephanie Schoenrock, executive director at Visit Minot, finished first in beef showmanship with the help of Molly Hansen of Carrington.

“She’s a fast learner,” Hansen said. “It seems to come pretty natural to her.”

Schoenrock had shown horses for years but found cattle to be totally different.

“Horses like treats. Molly says cows don’t eat treats. But it sounds like it’s similar in the amount of work to get them ready,” Schoenrock said.

The 4-H youth generally reported the adults were quick learners, picking up terminology, knowledge about the breed, handling skills and showmanship tips in just an hour’s worth of instruction.

“This is something I really like to do. I really enjoy teaching,” said Petersen, who shared knowledge gained from five years of showing cattle with the governor.

One of the most important tips of the 4-H members was to always keep eyes on the judge. In this competition, the youth coaches also were the judges.

Four leaders competed in each of the six categories. Top places went to: Beef, Schoenrock, with Hansen; Dairy, Rep. Dennis Johnson of Devils Lake with Sigryn Henke of Stanton; Dairy Goat, Warner, with Dohrmann; Meat Goat, State Fair director Mark Schaunaman, Ashley, with Charlotte Wilson, Underwood; Sheep, Mark Birdsall of Berthold, chairman of the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education, with Taylor Cattin of Kenmare; and Swine, State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, with Paige Zimprich of Milnor.


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