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Cheers and Tears at State Fair Grand Drive

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In London, they are handing out gold medals. In the Coliseum at the Indiana State Fair, it was a competition of a different sort, but with no less drama and emotion. Grand Champion honors were bestowed on some of the best 4-H livestock in the state during the Grand Champion 4-H Drive.

And tears of joy were flowing for the very first grand champion announced Monday night. Alida Jackson of Hendricks County received Grand Champion Gilt and told HAT she was very excited as she wiped tears away. Winning was something she didn’t expect at the state fair.

“I got grand at Hendricks but I never would have dreamed that I would even get champion here.”

Jackson is a twelve year old who has been showing pigs for ten years. She attends Danville Middle School as a 5th grader, “and I love her” she said, pointing to her gilt Snickers.

Another winner was Justin Willoughby of Hamilton County who has the Grand Champion Market Lamb. This is second grand champion lamb and he has also shown a grand champion goat. He shared his simple secret to success.

“Hard work, finding the right animal, and having fun with it.”

The ten year 4-H’er headed to Indiana University said winning again was a great way to end his 4-H career. He plans to major in marketing or might possibly switch to communications.

Jirl Buck from Oklahoma was the heifer judge and took a turn at the mic to commend the state fair, 4-H’ers, families and supporters. Buck has high praise for people in agriculture across the country and the Indiana State Fair specifically.

“Oh this is a great fair,” he told HAT. “Actually the cattle were second to none. The quality of the cattle from top to bottom were really good, and actually my wife and I had a little time to walk around the fair. We go to a lot of livestock shows and state fairs across the country and how clean it is here and sharp, and how things are presented at the state fair is just really, really good.”[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/08/2012-Grand-4-H-Drive.mp3|titles=2012 Grand 4-H Drive]

Monday night winners are:

Evan Gilliland, LaGrange County – 2012 Grand Champion Barrow

Reserve: Blake Danner, White County

Cole Wilcox, Lawrence County – 2012 Grand Champion Steer

Reserve: Bailey Rist, LaPorte County

Justin Willoughby, Hamilton County – 2012 Grand Champion Market Lamb

Reserve: Alexandra Raute, Hamilton County

Claire Trennepohl, Henry County – 2012 Grand Champion Heifer

Reserve: Ellie Sennett, Montgomery County

Bradyn Ford, Benton County – 2012 Grand Champion Meat Goat Wether

Reserve: Megan Brooks, Clark County

Alida Jackson, Hendricks County – 2012 Grand Champion Gilt

Reserve: Taylor Sobasky, Noble County