Chatfield FFA members, from left, Jessica Fenske, Jared Goldsmith, Jerico Drogemuller and Alex Coe  (not shown), earned third place in general livestock judging at the state fair.  SUBMITTED PHOTO
Chatfield FFA members, from left, Jessica Fenske, Jared Goldsmith, Jerico Drogemuller and Alex Coe (not shown), earned third place in general livestock judging at the state fair. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Looking for FFA state fair fun?

Behold the goats and swine!

"We have seven kids participating this year, which is the most we have ever had since I have been teaching," said Chatfield FFA adviser Stacy Fritz, anticipating her students showing their animals at the Minnesota State Fair.

"Katie Winslow is bringing swine, Noah Fenske, swine, Jessica Fenske, swine, Abby Hopp, dairy and swine, Jerico Drogemuller, goats, Alex Coe is bringing goats, and Jessica Boyum is bringing beef cattle," Fritz stated. "4-H and FFA have different weekends that they show, so many of my students are showing during both shows. The FFA livestock show will be held Labor Day weekend. The students, myself, Scott Winslow, Mike Fenske and Rodney Coe will be bringing the animals and supplies up to the fair Friday morning, and the animals need to be checked in, weigh-ins completed, and then showing begins Saturday, Aug. 31."

Chatfield's FFA members have already been busy at Minnesota's Great Get-Together.

"We had four FFA members that participated in the general livestock judging on Thursday, Aug. 22, and they placed third overall as a team and received a plaque for their efforts." Fritz related.

She also explained that there are many benefits to showing and judging livestock, including building the students' critical thinking skills.

"To be successful, they need to be able to evaluate their animal for its strengths and weaknesses without bias, using their knowledge of what the ideal animal should look like," Fritz said. "It takes many hours of preparation and hard work to prepare yourself and your animal, building your leadership skills and communicating effectively with the judge. They learn how to be a humble show person, taking wins and losses with the same grace and integrity. It takes dedication...pushing through and getting the job done even when they are tired."

The students return home Monday afternoon after spending a whole weekend at the state fair. There will be more results of the FFA livestock show available upon the conclusion of the fair.

Fritz expressed appreciation to parents and the community for their assistance and generosity.

"It takes a lot of help and support from parents as well as alumni to make this a successful trip for the students, but it is well worth the time spent, as the students gain important life and leadership skills by participating in events like these," she concluded.