September 20, 2014

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Seven 4-H veterans vying for Junior Fair King and Queen titles

WELLINGTON – A total of five young women and two young men will vie for the title of Junior Fair King and Queen at this year’s Lorain County Fair.

The seven are all veteran 4-H members who have spent much of their young lives raising and showing farm animals ranging from market hogs and steers to lambs, and calves.

In keeping with the Lorain County Fair being the second-largest in the state, the Junior Fair encompasses 11 buildings in which 4-H animals and projects are highlighted.

The 2014 Junior Fair royalty will be crowned during official opening ceremonies at noon Monday in the area of the Senior Fair office.

Those chosen to be king and queen will represent the fair in various ways ranging from visits to other county fair or festivals, serve as fair ambassadors by doing public speaking at schools and before community groups,  and planning the fair’s’ annual Ice Cream Social during fair week.

The remaining candidates will make up the royal court.

Eryn Greenless

Age: 17
Parents: Michael and Aimee Schilens
Home: Sheffield
4-H Club Chapter: Barnyard Buddies
Attends Brookside High School and Lorain County JVS (senior)

Eryn plans to pursue her education in the field of plumbing and pipefitting through the JVS.

“I get a lot of grief with being a female in a male-dominated field but I’ve grown some thick skin and will continue on with the field during my senior year.”

Eryn’s participation in and contributions to the 4-H Junior Fair include vegetable gardening, market hogs, steers, lambs, and wood projects.

She is in her second year as a Junior Fair Board member, and holds the post of department assistant chair of swine.

The teen’s major learning experiences include working with children with handicaps including Asperger’s, AD-HD and Downs Syndrome, as well as working with younger children to teach them how to show market hogs.

Michaela Price

Age: 18
Parents: Bruce and Brenda Price
Home: Wellington
4-H Club Chapter: Wellington Creative 4-H’ers and Welling Future Farmers of America
Graduate of Wellington High School

Michaela lists beginning the first lamb carcass contest and serving as president of Wellington FFA among her most important accomplishments, along with serving as an alternate representing Ohio in the 4-H Livestock Skillathon competition at to the North American International Livestock Expo (NAILE).

“I have been able to improve the sheep industry by allowing exhibitors and parents to understand what they are producing,” Michaela said.

An 11-year 4-H member, Michaela has had junior fair projects for 10 years, is a three-year Junior Fair board member, and has chaired the sheep department for two years.

Michaela’s animal projects have included market lambs, breeding ewes and dairy feeder calves, as well as showing market lambs at the Ohio State Fair and NAILE.

Ben Klier

Age: 19
Parents: Jim and Darcy Klier
Home: Wellington
4-H Club Chapter: LorainCounty Dairy Club
Graduate of Wellington High School

A runner-up for king at last year’s Junior Fair, Klier serves as president of the Junior Fair board in 2013, and starting his own dairy farm are among Ben’s biggest accomplishments.

A 13-year veteran of 4-H, Ben has been involved with the dairy judging team for 11 years, served on the Junior Fair board for four years, along with being chair of the dairy and track departments. In the latter capacity, Ben worked for the Junior Fair Board tractor pull.

Ben has shown market lambs and meat chickens as well as taken part in approximately 60 Junior Fair board meetings.

“I have attended more 4-H meetings than I care to count, and I led many of these meetings as president and vice president,” Ben said. “All my time on board, specifically my stint as JFB president truly grew me out of my comfort zone and into the person I am today.”

Madeline Ott

Age: 17
Parents: Todd and Carrie Ott
Home: Vermilion
4-H Club Chapter: Brownhelm Perfection
Home-schooled

Madeline has served as president of her 4-H club for four years, vice-president for two years, and been a member for 13.

A first-place winner in many 4-H public speaking contests, Madeline is a three-year Junior Fair Board member.

She has served in the Horse Department, and co-chaired the Bowl and Special Events Departments.

Madeline’s many 4-H experiences include Officer Training from 2009-12, Fair Booth Committee member 2008-14, and working with the Style Revue from 2009 to 2011 and in 2013.

Austin Washburn

Age: 18
Parents: Michael and Dorothy Washburn
Home: New London
4-H Club Chapter: Brighton Buckeyes 4-H
Graduate of Wellington High School

Austin has been president of his 4-H club for four years, and recently became chair of the Swine Department.

His other notable accomplishments include top-10 finishes in state FFA contests in Agricultural Mechanics and Engineering.

In addition to showing market hogs, Austin has been involved in welding projects including constructing pens for the Junior Fair Board champion barn.

His experiences include promoting the Brighton Buckeye 4-H Club.

“I helped to get the club name out into the community,” Austin said by means including community service projects such as food drives and trash pick-ups, and taking part in Memorial Day parades.

Since he began as president of the 4-H club, its membership has more than doubled.

Katie Cline

Age: 18
Parents: Edward and Jeanne Cline
Home: Amherst
4-H Club Chapter: Bits& Spurts 4-H Club
Graduate of Firelands High School

An eight-year 4-H veteran who has taken part in the county fair since she was in fourth grade, Katie said some of her most important accomplishments were intangible ones.

“They were not awarded with plaques or trophies,” she said. “My fears of public speaking has declined drastically and my ability to communicate with others has strengthened through my experiences” in 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America).”

As a younger participant, Katie recalled her love of showing animals, as well as decorating flower pots and trashcans.

Throughout her years at the fair, Katie said “I work very hard to make sure my animals are trained and well-groomed to show pride in myself and the Lorain County Fair.”

Her 4-H animal projects have included rabbits, pygmy goats, and miniature horses.

4-H and FFA camps and leadership programs brought Katie together with others for various projects. “This allowed us to understand what individual skills we had that would be vital to our team’s success.”

Madison Bremke

Age: 18
Parents: David and Laura Bremke
Home: Wellington
4-H Club Chapter: Wellington Creative 4-Her’s
Graduate of Wellington High School and JVS

Serving on the Junior Fair board for four years, Madison has been in 4-H for 14 years.

“I have loved being a part of this team that lays the groundwork for the fair each year,” Madison said, even though it is “a huge responsibility, working behind the scenes, preparing barns and paperwork for a fair as large as ours.”

Showing market lambs and breeding sheep have been particular interests of hers, as have FFA community service projects including working at a food bank, helping at a horse farm, and making blankets for a children’s hospital.

Madison has been part of three national and three state FFA conventions.

“Earning my way to these conventions by being top fruit salesman for my chapter helped me develop a strong work ethic,” Madison said.

With numerous leadership workshops and public speaking engagements to her credit, as well as Junior Fair training sessions, Madison feels the skills she is learning “will stay with me for a lifetime, and enable me to enter the work world a confident young adult.”

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

Pick up Sunday’s Chronicle-Telegram for the complete Lorain County Fair tab. Check out our live social media coverage from the fair. Our comprehensive Fair coverage can be found here