City slickers no more, the Barber Family is now part of the Madison County 4-H history books.
Brooks Barber, 14, was named the Overall Showman of Showmen at the 2016 Madison County Jr. Fair on Friday night. The Madison-Plains eighth-grader competed against seven of the other best showmen for the title.
Each of the contestants were required to show the rest of the animals, besides their own species: goat, sheep, swine, horse, beef, dairy, poultry and rabbit.
Barber, who qualified for the competition as the Goat Showman of Showmen, is in his fifth year of 4-H. He also shows rabbits — a talent he showed off during Friday’s competition as he coaxed a rabbit into sitting on the table with perfect form and then placed his hands behind his back.
“They’ll do it if you stay calm,” he explained.
He competed in the overall contest last year as the Rabbit Showman of Showmen, placing fourth of the eight contestants.
A first-generation 4-Her, Barber is the son of Amy and Richard. He added breeding goats to his repertoire this year. Barber attributed this year’s win to practice with all animals throughout the week.
“I’ve worked hard,” he said.
Showing the right personality also helps, he noted. It’s important to have good eye contact, smile and shake the judge’s hand.
Still, he was surprised with the win.
In the future, he’s considering working in the agriculture field.
His younger sister, Molly, 11, has also joined 4-H. They are both members of the Fairfield Rascals 4-H Club.
The competition included the following competitors and categories: Macy Burchett (beef), Olivia Finke (dairy), Alyson Petee (swine), Carson Clawson (poultry), Cheyenne Young (rabbit), Dalton Cunningham (sheep) and Lexi Rehm (equine).
Reach Andrea Chaffin at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619, and on Twitter @AndeeWrites.