Champions named after day of dairy judging

Lexi Bongard walks her calf around the ring during the tykes and tots show on Thursday at the Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fair. (Pioneer photos/Meghan Haas)

EVART — Exhibitors spent Thursday in and out of the arena at the Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fair, working their way up from the baby calf show to the grand and reserve champion dairy titles.

Four-H’er Austin Woods gives his cow a kiss on the nose during the intermediate showmanship judging while he waits for instructions.

The morning started with tykes and tots leading calves around the ring and continued on into senior, intermediate, junior and beginner showmanship judging. Champion showmen were Mariah McNeilly, for the senior class; Megan Jones, intermediate class; Alison Smith, junior class; and Caleb Jones, beginner class.

McNeilly was named the overall Champion Showman, however her alternate, Megan Jones, will represent the dairy breed in Sweepstakes Showmanship on Saturday, as McNeilly won the competition last year.

One 4-H’er, 7-year-old Kale Workman, showed his first calf in the beginner class. This is Workman’s second year in 4-H, in which he also showed a market goat.

“Goats are tougher,” he said. “They always try to get away.”

Workman enjoyed leading his calf around the arena and hopes to do the same next year.

(From left) Dani Soper and Caleb Jones hold their calves, ready to begin walking again or answer the judge’s questions, during the beginner class judging.

As 4-H’ers geared up to begin the judging for grand and reserve champions, Osceola County 4-H Coordinator Jake Stieg announced the dairy class had approximately 110 cows with 98 exhibitors.

“We have probably the largest dairy show in northern Michigan,” he said, as he congratulated the youth and families.

To round out the judging, Brant Bontekoe earned the Grand Champion Dairy title, followed by Layla Walters with the Reserve Champion Dairy title.


Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at

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