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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Brother, sister duo act as 4-H arena helpers

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brother and sister duo Dustin and Sammi Jo Gardner keep an eye on the heifer division at Tuesday morning's beef show. [Order this photo]
GREENCASTLE -- Shirts clung to backs, sweat beaded on the audience's brow, but not a person seemed to move as the Beef Champions Parade commenced in sweltering conditions Tuesday night.

At the night's end, Lauren Greeson and Grant Colvin earned Grand Champion, while Cody Beck and Makenzie Taylor were named Reserve Grand Champion.

Greeson and Beck were honored in the heifer division, with Colvin and Taylor being named in the steer division.

Judging the contest on the day was Andy Howell, with ring help from Dustin and Sammi Jo Gardner. The brother and sister duo were both 10-year 4-H members and still do whatever they can to help out.

In the ring, they help the younger members learn how to show their animals and step in when things begin to get out of hand. According to Dustin, the biggest thing is the handing down of knowledge.

"I think it's good for any older member of 4-H to help the young kids out. If they don't, then who else will? I was out of it and I still help every year since I've been out," he said.

More than once on the day, as the heat began to affect the animals, the ring persons had to step in and help right the situation. As they both alluded to, it is a fine line when you step in and when you let the person figure it out on their own.

"Well, there's a line to it," Dustin said. "You have to know what you're looking for, and if you know the kid it's better because if you've been around the kid and you know they work with their animal. If they want to go sideways or it gets kind of crazy, just give them time.

"If it continues from there, pushing and shoving the kid, then that's when you step in because you don't want it to get loose. You just have to know what to look for," he added.

Sammi Jo couldn't agree more.

"When you know they're struggling and they can't move and actually when they give you a look like 'help me please' or if they get hurt, that's when you step in a help them," she said. "You never want them to just let them go, you want to ask them if they want to keep going or have a brother or sibling or someone to help them."

Even with the animals beginning to get restless toward the end of the event, Dustin and Sammi Jo said they thought the day went well and commended Howell on his efforts.

"It was good... it was long, but I to think he (Howell) spent his time on picking and I think he did a good job," Sammi Jo commented.

Echoing what his sister said, Dustin was pleased with the fact everything went of without a hitch.

"It went good," Dustin said. "All the animals were pretty calm. I mean, you had your tired ones. At the end here, they were all turning around and it wasn't because they weren't trained, it was because they were wore out and just wanted to lay down.

"We only had a couple wild ones and we didn't have any get loose this year. And nobody got hurt," he concluded.

The day had its share of incidents. First a heifer got loose on the outside of the arena momentarily, but what go the arena area buzzing was when the Indiana Department of Environmental Management shut down the outdoor wash racks.

But according to fair board member Ken Heeke, it was only a momentary hiccup on the day, with the issue being corrected shortly thereafter.

"The issue was brought to our attention and within two hours the issue was corrected," Heeke said. "The wash racks are back open again. It was kind of an issue of runoff of animal waste through the wash racks."

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-- Posted by BIG DOG DADDY on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 7:31 PM

I commend the brother and sister team for giving their time to the beef program but where is the picture of the Grand Champion Heifer and Steer?! VERY LITTLE information was given about the Grand Drive; the breed was not even mentioned!! I'm sure the kids with these calves are a little disappointed they too were not part of the front page of the Banner today.

-- Posted by countyresident on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 8:39 PM

Yes, I want to see the Grand Champion and the owner.

-- Posted by indianamama on Thu, Jul 29, 2010, at 10:52 AM

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