Alumni hit the show ring to raise money for scholarship program

Travis Holda, of Big Rapids, shows a rabbit to judge Analiese Fredin during the inaugural Alumni Show Saturday at the Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fair in Evart. The event took place to raise money for a memorial scholarship program in honor of longtime 4-H supporter, Dan Swick. (Pioneer photos/Brandon Fountain)

EVART – For once, 4-H’ers were not the ones being judged.

Instead, more than two dozen alumni and supporters had to carefully display a chicken, encourage steers and Holsteins to be led around the show ring and try to keep some stubborn swine moving.

With the top junior and senior showmen from this week’s Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fair serving as judges, the adults participated in the inaugural Alumni Show Saturday afternoon.

The show is designed to pay tribute and honor longtime 4-H supporter Dan Swick, who recently passed away, said Osceola County 4-H Coordinator Jake Stieg.

Crista Crawford, of Evart, earned the award as top showman during the inaugural Alumni Show Saturday at the Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fair.

“The Alumni Show not only helps 4-H, but it’s about having fun,” he said, as alumni and supporters shared the last time they had shown an animal at the fair. “Many of us have stories we remember from the fair, some of them can be said over the microphone, some cannot.

“For me, I got married right here in this ring. These are memories we created and we cherish.”

Many of show’s participants have children (or even grandchildren) who are active 4-H’ers. While several of the alumni haven’t been out of the show ring very long, others noted it was their first time back in the show ring since the mid 1970s.

There were even a few who have never shown an animal at the fair, including Travis Holda, of Big Rapids.

“It went good, I think,” he said following the event.

Holda said he was told he was going to participate in the event.

“They told me I was going to do it,” he said. “It was fun.”

Mandy Fitzgerald helped Holda get ready for the special event.

“He did good,” she said. “He’s been around farm animals so they’re not new to him.

“He didn’t get hurt and nothing got out,” she added with a laugh. “That’s a good thing.”

The premise of the agriculturally-centered fair, Stieg said, is about having fun.

“Things may have changed over the years, how we show animals and what we have to do, but it’s all about having a great time,” he said.

Crista Crawford, of Evart, earned the 2017 Alumni Show title.

The 27 participants of the show raised $207 for the Dan Swick Memorial Participation Scholarship, Stieg said.

“The scholarship will help get anyone who wants to be active in 4-H get involved in 4-H,” he said. “We’re here to get everyone involved in 4-H who wants to be.”

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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