The Herald Bulletin

July 21, 2010

Sheep champions acknowledge hard work

By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — The announcer could barely be heard over the bleating of sheep, but you didn’t need to hear the winner’s name. Stephanie Morris’ smile and hearty handshake with the judge was a dead giveaway that she was the grand champion.

Morris, 14, of Elwood, was named the Madison County 4-H Fair grand champion in ewe lambs. Blake Wittkamper was named the reserve grand champion in the category. Isaac Gough, 18, of Jonesboro, was the grand champion in market lamb while Morris’ cousin Hannah Alcala, 11, of Summitville was named the reserve grand champion.

Morris showed pig, sheep and cattle during this year’s fair and said it has been a great year getting four reserve awards, as well as a champion in swine and reserve grand champion in heifers.

“It is nerve-wracking,” she said after the show. “You don’t know if you are going to get it or not. You don’t know what is going to happen. And we all worked so hard.”

Morris said 4-H has taught her responsibility and how to respect others and herself.

Gough said one of his favorite parts of participating in 4-H is watching the animals change from week to week and getting them ready for the show. This is his last year in the program but said it has helped him tremendously.

“It is a lot of hard work,” he said. “There are days you don’t want to go in the bar, but in the end it is all worth it.”

Alcala described her experience in the championship ring as “amazing.”

“I am just proud to be a part of it,” she said.

One of the best parts for Alcala is having her friends and family supporting her not only during the show but throughout the whole process.

“It’s been a long day but a good one,” she said.

Alfa Underwood was one of the nearly 200 watching the sheep show. Her grandchildren were showing sheep, but she said she also enjoyed watching the animals be shown.

“I think this is such a wonderful program,” Underwood said. “I think the kids really need something like this. It is a great way to learn good things and make friends. It also teaches them about the animals and how to take care of them.”

Contact Abbey Doyle, 640-4840, abbey.doyle@heraldbulletin.com.