Daniel Baker and Ed Armstrong

Jackson County Commissioner Ed Armstrong is pictured presenting Daniel Baker a personalized belt buckle for becoming the ultimate showman. Baker also received a trophy sponsored by Larry and Charlotte Johnson.

WELLSTON — Daniel Baker was named the ultimate showman of this year’s Jackson County Fair.

Every year on Friday morning of the Jackson County Fair, eight overall showmanship winners along with their animals gather in the Joe Morgan Memorial Livestock Arena to compete for the title of “Showman of Showmen”.

Each individual animal market show features a showmanship competition that is based on the 4-H and FFA members’ abilities to show off their animal for the judges. Things that are taken into consideration is how well the youth handles or controls the animal, how well they know the parts of their animal and their ability to set the animal up properly to be most appealing to the judge, just to name a few.

The overall winners in each of those shows then compete in the “Showman of Showmen” contest to determine the ultimate showman. Each of the winners brings the animal for which they won their overall showmanship title into the show ring. This year’s show featured an overall beef (steer), a sheep, swine, rabbit, turkey, dairy cow, chicken, and market goat.

Each 4-H’er started off with their own animal, but then rotated to another station and another animal until they had shown each animal in the ring. There were judges at each individual station to determine how well the 4-H’er did with the various animals and each judge could provide up to 10 points per station. The person with the highest number of points is then named the ultimate Showman of Showmen.

Those who competed this year were Baker with a turkey, Grant Mastin with a goat, Haley Saxour with a steer, Trinity Jones with a rabbit, Jordan Swackhammer with a swine, Kennedie Blevins with a sheep, Grant Riegal with a chicken, and Brady Dailey with a dairy cow.

When the competition came to an end, Baker was named the overall winner.

“It’s amazing, I wasn’t expecting to get it this year, but I will take it,” Baker told The Courier about being named the showman of showmen.

He said that this was his eighth year being involved in 4-H. He belongs to the Forward Thinkers 4-H Club.

Baker recalled that the first animals he brought to the fair were rabbits and fancy poultry. He still has two more years left in the Jackson County Fair 4-H program.

When asked if he had experience handling other fair animals, Baker answered, “Yes, I have taken goats, helped with lambs, turkeys, poultry, cattle and rabbits.”

In addition to his trophy sponsored by Larry and Charlotte Johnson, Baker received a personalized belt buckle courtesy of Jackson County Commissioner Ed Armstrong.

Baker’s other fair awards earned during the week were overall market poultry showman, overall senior poultry showman, overall fancy poultry winner, grand champion market turkey, 3rd overall market turkey winner, overall market turkey showman, overall senior turkey showman, and overall senior dairy market feeder showman.

“It has just been a great year, and thank everyone that helped me,” said Baker. “It was an odd year with COVID-19, but a great year, just glad to be here and looking forward to next year.”

The winner placements in the Showman of Showmen contest were Daniel Baker, Showman of Showmen winner; Grant Mastin, second place; Haley Saxour, third place; Trinity Jones, fourth place; and Jordan Swackhammer, fifth place. Each contestant received jackets sponsored by the Jackson-Vinton Farm Bureau.

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