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Senior sacrifices, becomes 4H champion

Kids from all around the Fresno area entered countless forms of domesticated creatures, from squawking poultry to lowing cattle into competition at the Big Fresno Fair on Oct. 4-15.

?Showing is a lot of fun,? Nichole Bos, ?07, said. ?I like competition and going to the fair.?

For the past eight years, Bos trained a dairy cow, with the assistance of the 4-H program, to be judged at the Big Fresno Fair.

?When I was younger, I would go to the fair with my mom and dad and we would always go through the livestock barn,? Bos said. ?I would see cows and when I found out that people showed them, I knew I wanted to do that.?

The 4-H program (Head, Heart, Hands, and Health) provides Bos and others the opportunity to raise and train animals to show and compete.

?We get our animals two months before the fair,? Bos said. ?I wash them and clean their pins once a week.?

Some student are unaware 4-H competitions exist.

?I had no idea 4-H existed before I did this interview,? Ryan Aydelotte, ’10, said. ?I didn?t have a chance to visit the Big Fresno Fair this year either; I think that competing must be pretty difficult.?

Bos competed to win awards in Showmanship and Supreme Champion. In the Showmanship contest, competitors are judged on how clean the animal is, how well it leads, and on how well the animal is shown. Bos won first place in Showmanship twice and Supreme Champion four times in previous years.

?I was surprised and excited the first time I won an award,? Bos said. ?I didn?t think I would do that well. This year I received Supreme Champion and second place in Showmanship. I?m pretty proud.?

Judges also look for a straight back, strong front end, tall, the right weight (not too fat or too skinny), and good proportion.

?When I?m in front of the judges,” Bos said. ?I try to block out my surroundings and focus on what I?m doing.?

Commitment, Persistence Creates Winning Attitude

Each year she competes, Bos sacrifices other activities in order to train her cow.

?Training takes a lot of time from school,? Bos said. ?This year the fair was at the same time as homecoming, so I couldn?t work much on the float.?

To win these awards each year requires patience while working with the animals.

?Sometimes the animals are stubborn and hard to work with,? Bos said. ?I have learned determination through the sweat and tears of working with stubborn animals. When I?m showing at the fair I have to wake up at 4:30 A.M. and we can?t leave until around 10 P.M.?

Working with animals at the Big Fresno Fair seems enjoyable for some Bos, but for others the challenge is more than they are up for.

?I would never consider working with animals,? Aydelotte said. “The smell and all the little kids at the fair would get to me, and I think training would be really hard.?

Many potential problems may occur while showing the animals. Bos claims that nerves sometimes get the best of her right before competition.

?Sometimes the animals are stubborn and won?t walk,? Bos said. ?This year I was showing a cow I had never shown before. She was wild and really hard to handle, but she ended up being calm and I won second place.?

Bos intends on raising another cow to be judged in the Big Fresno Fair next year. In addition, she also plans using her experience in training cows to teach agriculture one day.

?I love showing; it?s a great hobby,? Bos said. ?I have learned a lot. I have one more year to show before I?m done, but it has been a great learning experience.?

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    Rishele RossAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    i would rather play that game any day than do work!