ALEXANDRIA — Serving 10 years in 4-H, Fairmount’s Jaron Mason hops into the Dairy Show arena, participating in his last year at the Madison County 4-H Fair.
Showing three cows, he hoped to receive the Senior Showmanship title, where he has competed against six other showmen.
The 4-H Dairy Show included 24 shows with 11 total exhibitors. Albion’s Matthew Troyer judged the show.
“They (other competitors) have really nice cows, but we usually buy what we can afford,” Mason said.
Jerry Mason, Jaron’s father, says he wants his son to enjoy his last year in the program. He helped his son prepare moments before showtime by maintaining his cow that he has shown for seven years of 4-H.
“He’ll be proposing to his girlfriend tonight after the show is over,” Jerry Mason said.
Mason’s family, including parents and great-grandparents, made an appearance at the Dairy Show for moral support.
Fairmount’s Gale Hikade, Mason’s great-grandfather, said he drives to Madison County every year to watch Mason show.
“It’s a good learning experience for him,” Hikade said. “I don’t think he’ll go into farming, ... but without 4-H, you wouldn’t be learning something that you (could) use.”
Dairy showman Emma Pattison traveled from Summitville to compete for her sixth year in 4-H.
“This is like a lifestyle for me,” she said. “My grandpa and his grandpa actually were on a dairy farm and it closed down before I was born. I just wanted to get back into my roots, and I fell in love with (working with cows) ever since.”
In this year’s show, Pattison competed against her cousin, Rowan Pattison, who is in the Beginner Showman class in the Holstein Championship.
“We can go back and forth with who’s going to win, so it really goes either way,” Emma Pattison said.