Greenbrier High School student Ashton Johnson struggled to get his market lamb, Reveille, into just the correct position to show off his good qualities for the upcoming County Fair show. FFA students have been working and training their lambs since spring to get them in top shape. GHS Agriculture teacher Rodney Wiedower held a lamb showing clinic for three hours at the high school Animal Science building. Over twelve lambs and seven students showed up for the expert help Wiedower would give.
Ashton, whose sister Amber also entered her lamb named Squirt said, “We treat ‘em like an athlete.”
To be a good show market lamb, they must be fed a textured show lamb food, fed their vitamins and minerals every day, exercised a mile and trained to walk properly in the judging ring. For some of these students at the clinic, it seemed easy even though it was the first time for most of them to handle a lamb.
Leanne Winston is the youngest, a fifth grader, showing her first lamb, Cupid, who has a heart shape spot on his back.
Senior Kyla Miller is the “seasoned” showman with a year’s experience. She named her lamb Jackson “…because I love Johnny Cash,” she said.
Lisa and Randy Goodnight, parents of Ginny Goodnight, accompanied Ginny with her two entries, Ruger, a male, and Rose, a female. Exhibitors may enter four lambs, but may only show three. Entries are divided by weight classification; so if both your lambs weigh the same, you would compete with yourself for points.
The Barkley family came with four lambs, Neuss, Starr, Nipy, and Little Man. 9th grader Ashley will have to choose which three to show. That decision might be easier because two of her lambs were already in the same weight class.
Wiedower is an experienced teacher of 27 years and is on the Market Lamb Show Committee. He was busy weighing, making sure correct tags were in the lamb’s ears, and giving excellent pointers to eager students. Bailey Smithson a 2012 graduate was back to help with showmanship tips.
9th grader Hannah Tilley brought her two lambs, Annie and Drake, for a “manicure”. As Wiedower trimmed hooves, Tilley explained what can happen if someone has not prepared their lamb for show day. Sometimes, if a lamb has a bad day, he will lie down in the show ring or just be stubborn and not position well in spite of all the work a student may have done.
The Agriculture teaching staff at GHS rounds out with Jason Davis working with students showing swine and cattle and Casey Epler working with students showing sheep and goats. Wiedower also works with two students showing rabbits.
Market lambs must be in place by Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 8 a.m, will weigh in Thursday, Sept. 19 at 8 a.m. and be judged at 6 p.m. The Grand and Reserve Grand Champions will remain on display in the New Hall of Champion pens until they are released on Saturday, Sept. 21.