Kerns siblings take top spots in Showman of Showmen
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Is second consecutive sweep for Over Yonder 4-H Club
ROME TOWNSHIP — For the second year in a row, the top spots in the Showman of Showmen competition at the Lawrence County Fair went to a pair of siblings, and it was also a repeat win for the same 4-H club.
Isabella Kerns, 16, of Over Yonder 4-H club, earned the Senior Showman title in that competition, while her brother, Hunter Kerns, 14,, was named Junior Showman in the younger category.
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The two, who attend Ironton High School, are members of Over Yonder 4-H club and are the daughter and son of Leslie and BJ Kerns.
Both have been showing animals at the fair since the third grade.
“They started as soon as they could,” Leslie Kerns, who serves as advisor for the club, which represents members in the western part of Lawrence County and meets in Hanging Rock, said.
The Showman of Showmen event is the concluding 4-H competition for the fair and the highest honor a 4-H member can receive for the year. Those taking part win a showmanship title in one of the earlier events at the fair, and then go on to the final event, where they present animals of all types, including cattle, rabbits, hogs, chickens and goats.
Leslie Kerns points out that the competition is not about the animals, but the 4-Hers’ presentation skills and abilities.
The Kerns siblings won showmanship titles in Monday’s goat competition, where Hunter was also named grand champion and fourth place for his goat. Isabella won third place for her goat and also took part in the steer show on Wednesday, where she came in third overall.
The wins by the Kerns family meant it was two years in a row that Over Yonder took the top two spots in the competition.
Last year, siblings Gracie and Gunnar Daniels won as grand reserve champion.
Gracie, who was in her last year of fair eligibility, now serves as an advisor to the club and Kerns said she taught her daughter a lot of what she knows about showing.
She said the fair had many who assisted 4-Hers prepare for the event and, had anyone stopped by the main barn the night before the show, they would have seen this in effect, with 4-Hers practicing their skills with the animals they were not accustomed to.
She said those helping out ranged from members like Leah Gorby, who helped with rabbits, Devin Fife, who taught others about hogs, and Montana Runnels, a former member who now serves on the Senior Fair Board.
“There’s such a supportive community, and there’s always help,” she said.