Newton Clas­sic spot­lights lo­cal youth and live­stock

The Covington News - - Agriculture - Terri Kim­ble Colum­nist Terri Kim­ble is the 4-H Ed­u­ca­tor for Newton County 4-H. She can be reached at (770) 784-2010.

Pep­per­mint Pat­tie, called “P” for short, can’t stand the color pink.

Ac­cord­ing to Ava Jane Teasley, she is “a big fat diva” who prefers the color green, which is con­ve­nient since they’re in 4-H.

P’s neigh­bors Ve­gas and Milk Dud, how­ever, don’t seem to have a fa­vored color.

“If they have a fa­vorite, I don’t know about it,” said Dil­lon Parker, an FFA mem­ber.

By the way, P, Ve­gas, and Milk Dud are heifers shown by Ava Jane and Dil­lon at live­stock shows.

Ava Jane is a 4th grade 4-H’er at Heard-Mixon; Dil­lon is an Al­covy High sopho­more and FFA mem­ber.

They may show for com­pet­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions, but the two have worked to­gether for the past two years.

Last year both showed hogs for the first time, and this year each moved to

heifers.

Their an­i­mals live side by side at the FFA Camp, and the two youth work side by side each day to care for the an­i­mals and im­prove their show­ing skills.

Dil­lon takes agri­cul­ture classes with Ben Brand and Robert Cobb, then teaches Ava Jane.

Ava Jane passes on her skills to younger sis­ter and lamb showman El­iz­a­beth Teasley, al­though she said her lit­tle sis­ter gen­er­ally doesn’t want to lis­ten. She thinks, though, that this might be help­ing her to be a bet­ter lis­tener when Dil­lon is teach­ing her about beef cat­tle.

Dil­lon also said he’s learned a lot about show­ing tech­niques from the Teasley fam­ily.

With their age dif­fer­ence, they usu­ally don’t com­pete against each other at shows and in­stead cheer each other on.

At the Newton Clas­sic Live­stock Show last Fe­bru­ary; how­ever, the two had to go head to head in the first time showman com­pe­ti­tion.

They took top hon­ors with Dil­lon in first and Ava Jane in sec­ond.

“It was a chal­lenge,” said Dil­lon, “but I didn’t let up any slack be­cause it was her.”

Ava Jane and Dil­lon both agree that they per­formed well be­cause they spent so much time work­ing with their hogs, and even sought ad­vice from vet­eran show­men like Ron­nie Few.

Dil­lon, son of Scott and Kerri Parker, joined FFA last year af­ter hear­ing his older brother talk about agri­cul­ture classes.

The FFA motto is “learn­ing to do, do­ing to learn, earn­ing to live, liv­ing to serve.”

Dil­lon il­lus­trates this through ded­i­ca­tion to agri­cul­ture classes and show­ing, pass­ing his knowl­edge on to oth­ers, and learn­ing fi­nan­cial man­age­ment skills through his project.

“You don’t re­al­ize how fast the re­ceipts add up,” said Dil­lon about his heif- ers.

He worked at the FFA Camp last sum­mer to pay for his first heifer, and keeps records of all en­try fees, show sup­plies, feed and other ex­penses for his record book.

Dil­lon eas­ily rat­tled off costs such as a bag of God­frey’s show calf win­ning pro­gram grower, ex­plain­ing how he will in­vest a to­tal of $1400 to $1500 in his Charo­lais heifer, Ve­gas.

He ex­pects to ei­ther break even or make up to about $300 in profit af­ter sell­ing her af­ter the state show.

Third year 4-H’er Ava Jane is the daugh­ter of Todd and Lisa Teasley and lives at the FFA Camp.

She said her project fits the 4-H motto “to make the best bet­ter,” be­cause “ev­ery time I show I have a les­son at the end.”

One of those lessons has been that her heifer, Pep­per­mint Pat­tie, has a per­son­al­ity like a per­son; an­other is that you can’t get ev­ery­thing you want.

“I al­ways think ev­ery­thing is a com­pe­ti­tion,” said Ava Jane. “I even com­pete at hav­ing the clean­est stall.”

She prac­tices with her breed­ing ewes along­side her sis­ter El­iz­a­beth and friend Rachel Dab­ney, who also show 4-H lambs.

On Fe­bru­ary 12 at 11 a.m., you can see Ava Jane, Dil­lon, and their fel­low club mem­bers from across the county show­ing lambs, hogs, and cat­tle at the Newton Clas­sic Live­stock Show.

The lo­cal show, held in the Newton High live­stock barn, gives stu­dents one last chance to work on their skills be­fore the state show in Perry.

They’ll also earn rib­bons, tro­phies, belt buck­les and cash prizes.

One might think the prizes are in­cen­tive, but when asked why they show live­stock both Ava Jane and Dil­lon are in com­plete agree­ment: “be­cause it’s fun!”

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