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Showing livestock in Nebraska is very competitive and the best of the best proved that in Grand Island during the Nebraska State Fair.  4-H and FFA members from around the state competed in the 13th Annual Nebraska Elite Showman Competition at the 149th annual Nebraska State Fair. A contest of this scale is not easy to put on that is why the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and the Nebraska Rural Radio Association have partnered together to put on the prestigious event in cooperation with the Nebraska State Fair.

It’s an honor to get to compete in the Nebraska Elite Showman competition. “The youth who participate in the Nebraska Elite Showman Competition are selected to represent their county at the statewide competition, and they all represented their counties well,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman.

Elite Showmen competitors must be between 14-18 years of age and enrolled in 4-H or FFA. Counties are able to select only one student to represent them to compete at the State Fair. Agricultural business and organizations generously contribute to the contest in order for the winners to receive prize money along with their statewide recognition.

“I’m pleased that NDA and our partners are able to coordinate and sponsor events like these to recognize the hard work, dedication and passion that young Nebraskans have for agriculture,” said Wellman. “Congratulations to the winners and to all of the participants for making this year’s Elite Showman Competition so exceptional.”

In this year’s Nebraska Elite Showman Competition, 41 participants represented their counties.

Competitors are scored on beef, swine, sheep and goat showmanship, as well as interview skills and knowledge via a written test. Along with first, second and third place overall winners, winners are selected for each division. The top overall Elite Showman receives $2,000, the second place finisher receives $1,000 and the third place overall winner receives $500. Division winners are awarded $300 each. All other competitors receive a $50 prize.

The 2018 overall winners were:

1st place overall:  Blake Bruns from Lincoln County

2nd place overall:  Savannah Peterson from Dawson County

3rd place overall:  Ralston Ripp from Buffalo County

The 2018 Elite Showman division winners were:

Swine Showmanship:  Creighton Hirschfeld from York County

Sheep Showmanship:  Ralston Ripp from Buffalo County

Beef Showmanship:  Liz Marker from Morrill County

Goat Showmanship: Taylor Lautenschlager from Hall County

Written Test:  Harlee Brauckmuller from Cass County

Interview:  Blake Bruns from Lincoln County

Other participants (counties) included: Rachel Kort (Adams), Lauren Prior (Chase), Camden Humphrey (Clay), Abigail Lutjelusche (Colfax), Megan Schroeder (Cuming), Nicole Hanson (Dixon), Taylor Gregory (Dodge), John Alfs (Fillmore), Madalynn Welsh (Franklin), Olivia Lentfer (Gage), Emma Hoffschneider (Garfield), Riley Eisenhauer (Gosper), Alexis Tenski (Greeley), Taylor Lautenschlager (Hall), Blake Wert (Hamilton), Reagan Skow (Hayes), Logan Sanford (Holt), Ethan Uhlir (Howard), Hannah Holtmeier (Jefferson), Madeline Sonnenfeld (Kearney), Sarah Dilley (Lancaster), Jency Starr (McPherson), Abbigail Wegner (Merrick), Jonathan Wetovick (Nance), Eliza Hunzeker (Pawnee), Danielle Burge (Perkins), Abby Scholz (Phelps), Lane Egger (Platte), Abigayle Warm (Seward), Nadia VanSlyke (Sherman), Alanna Fangmeier (Thayer), Megan Skibinski (Valley), Kelsey Loseke (Washington), Madison Jenkins (Wayne), Jamie Bonifas (Webster)

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