The Herald Bulletin

July 20, 2011

Champion exhibits more than just showmanship

By Sam Brattain
The Herald Bulletin

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — Towering over his steer during Wednesday’s Supreme Showmanship competition, Brandon Brunt seemed to have little trouble directing it where to go.

“It helps to be 6-foot-4,” Brunt said.

Brunt was awarded the Supreme Showman trophy after four rounds. Each round featured a different species of livestock; swine, sheep, goats and steers.

Though Brunt qualified for the competition through showing goats, he displayed his steer with mastery. When a fellow competitor struggled to get her steer to budge, Brunt nudged it from behind while simultaneously pulling his own steer.

However, according to judge Andrea Schwartz, it was Brunt’s answers that separated him as champion. Throughout the competition Schwartz asked all four competitors various questions while they were showing their animals. The questions revolved around their experiences through 4-H. Schwartz was especially impressed with a response Brunt gave about what he learned the most.

“He answered with a quote from his dad about how people will respect you by the way you handle yourself when you lose,” Schwartz said.

Brunt said he’s been on the other side of the coin many times throughout his eight years in 4-H, and has always tried to keep his head held high.

“Most people that participate in 4-H will feel the pain of defeat and the joy of victory,” Brunt said.

Schwartz said the reason the participant’s answers played such a big part in her decision was because employers tend to look for young people who can communicate well.

Brunt still has two years remaining in high school, and said he plans on majoring in business at Purdue University. He hopes to have a career in agriculture.

For showman Garrett Lowes there’s more to the contest than just a trophy. At the end of the competition, each 4-H’er was given a final question by Schwartz about what they would tell a young person thinking about getting involved in 4-H. Lowes said he would tell them about the friendships they would form.

“These are three of my best friends right here,” Lowes said.

Contact Sam Brattain: 640-4883, sam.brattain@heraldbulletin.com