Johnson earns Showcase title
DENTON — Caroline County 4-H’er Ben Johnson won the 2017 Elite Premier Showcase title, Friday, Aug. 4, at the Caroline-Dorchester County Fair at the Caroline 4-H Park near Denton.
Johnson, 13, is a member of the Pure Country 4-H Club, and he beat North Caroline High students Elizabeth Ross and Caroline Saathoff in the four-round livestock handling showcase. Johnson earned a trip to the showcase by winning the beef and sheep shows while Ross advanced by winning the goat show and Saathoff used her victory in the pig show to make the showcase.
“I’m very happy to win today,” said Johnson who has been working on the farm since he was 5 years old. “It is a lot of fun learning the different animals. They have different personalities, and it is neat to work with each.”
During the elite showcase, the trio showed pigs, cows, goats and sheep, and answered agriculture questions asked by judge Scott Wright.
“Ben was very thorough in all four classes,” Wright said. “Each stood out in the classes
they won, but Ben was really strong in the classes he was not as familiar with. He was always comfortable with the animals. He never got too nervous. He stayed relaxed. He was right there where he needed to be, and that is what kept him at the top of all the classes.
“All the candidates did an outstanding job,” he said. “You can see they have worked hard to understanding each animal, even if the animal is not the primary one they show. What I like best is they all did really well working in less than perfect situations with a lot of unknowns about the other animals they are not familiar with.”
Saathoff’s berth in the Elite Premier Showcase was her third time since 2013.
Ross is a member of the Caroline County FAA. The group had seven members showing animals with 10 hogs and four goats.
Caroline County FFA Advisor Jodi Callahan said she is proud of her FFA students for all the hard work they put into the fair and throughout the school year.
The fair was held from Wednesday, Aug. 2, to Saturday, Aug. 5, and gives 4-H’ers a comprehensive competition to showcase their agricultural displays, livestock and pet projects, as well as their baking, canning, culinary and sewing skills. The 4-H fair also provides a means of educating the public of the importance of farming to the nation and the hard work and talents that go into it.
The Caroline County Chamber of Commerce, along with the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce, helped open the fair on Wednesday. Admission Wednesday was free courtesy of the chambers.
The 4-H and FFA exhibits were featured throughout the fair in the main building, with all the winners on display.
The fair also featured the cake auction on opening night, kids day on Thursday, dress a goat contest on Friday and a baby contest on Saturday. The event culminated with a livestock auction Saturday and a concert featuring Small Town Showdown.
For more information about the Caroline-Dorchester County Fair, visit www. caroline-dorchestercountyfair.org.
Caroline County 4-H’er Ben Johnson holds the trophy after win the 2017 Elite Premier Showcase title Friday, Aug 4, at the Caroline-Dorchester County Fair.
Caroline County 4-H’er Ben Johnson holds the trophy after win the 2017 Elite Premier Showcase title Friday, Aug 4, at the Caroline-Dorchester County Fair. He competed against Caroline Saathoff, right, and Elizabeth Ross. Scott Wright, left, was the judge.