4-H and FFA champions from around the state competed in the 13th Annual Nebraska Elite Showman Competition recently at the Nebraska State Fair. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska Rural Radio Association coordinate this prestigious event in cooperation with the Nebraska State Fair.

“The youth who participate in the Nebraska Elite Showman Competition are selected to represent their county at the statewide competition, and they all represented their counties well,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman.

Elite Showmen competitors must be between 14 to 18 years of age and enrolled in 4-H or FFA. Counties are able to select only one student to represent them to compete at the State Fair. Agricultural business and organizations generously contribute to the contest in order for the winners to receive prize money along with their statewide recognition.

“I’m pleased that NDA and our partners are able to coordinate and sponsor events like these to recognize the hard work, dedication and passion that young Nebraskans have for agriculture,” said Wellman. “Congratulations to the winners and to all of the participants for making this year’s Elite Showman Competition so exceptional.”

In this year’s Nebraska Elite Showman Competition, 41 participants represented their counties.

Competitors are scored on beef, swine, sheep and goat showmanship, as well as interview skills and knowledge via a written test. Along with first, second and third place overall winners, winners are selected for each division. The 2018 overall winners were first place­—Blake Bruns from Lincoln County; second place—Savannah Peterson from Dawson County; and third place—Ralston Ripp from Buffalo County.

The 2018 Elite Showman division winners were swine showmanship—Creighton Hirschfeld from York County; sheep showmanship—Ralston Ripp from Buffalo County; beef showmanship—Liz Marker from Morrill County; goat showmanship—Taylor Lautenschlager from Hall County; written test—Harlee Brauckmuller from Cass County; and interview—Blake Bruns from Lincoln County.

Other participants (counties) included: Rachel Kort (Adams), Lauren Prior (Chase), Camden Humphrey (Clay), Abigail Lutjelusche (Colfax), Megan Schroeder (Cuming), Nicole Hanson (Dixon), Taylor Gregory (Dodge), John Alfs (Fillmore), Madalynn Welsh (Franklin), Olivia Lentfer (Gage), Emma Hoffschneider (Garfield), Riley Eisenhauer (Gosper), Alexis Tenski (Greeley), Taylor Lautenschlager (Hall), Blake Wert (Hamilton), Reagan Skow (Hayes), Logan Sanford (Holt), Ethan Uhlir (Howard), Hannah Holtmeier (Jefferson), Madeline Sonnenfeld (Kearney), Sarah Dilley (Lancaster), Jency Starr (McPherson), Abbigail Wegner (Merrick), Jonathan Wetovick (Nance), Eliza Hunzeker (Pawnee), Danielle Burge (Perkins), Abby Scholz (Phelps), Lane Egger (Platte), Abigayle Warm (Seward), Nadia VanSlyke (Sherman), Alanna Fangmeier (Thayer), Megan Skibinski (Valley), Kelsey Loseke (Washington), Madison Jenkins (Wayne), and Jamie Bonifas (Webster).

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