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Yakima Valley Fair exhibitor numbers climb to more than 200 FFA, 4-H members

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Sunnyside FFA competitor Kaylie Bestebreur displays her animal handling skills at last Friday's FFA and 4-H Showmanship Round Robin Competition. Here, she shows what she's learned raising a beef cow.

GRANDVIEW - Now that the annual Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo has closed the gates on 2012, the tally is in and the numbers are good.

That's according to Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo board member Michelle Mensonides, who said there were 215 exhibitors this year. That's up from 175 FFA and 4-H exhibitors last year.

She said there were more than 1,200 entries submitted by youngsters who belong to a Yakima Valley 4-H club or FFA chapter.

"The pigs were bursting out the seams," said Mensonides, stating fair organizers had to borrow extra panels to create 12 extra pig pens for this year's fair.

There were 90 market sheep, which she said doubles the number entered during her first year on the board four years ago.

"There were more entries from Selah and a lot of new youngsters...many new faces of kids I didn't know before," said Mensonides.

"We're talking huge growth!"

She said it was exciting to see so many entries in the 2012 Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo, and she was pleased some of those entries included different dairy cows not seen at the event in several years, if ever.

"It's typical to see Holsteins since they are the most common dairy cow around here, but there were Brown Swiss, Ayshire, Milky Short Horn...when was the last time we had a Red & White," Mensonides questioned when reviewing the entries.

The results, she said, are a testament to the hard work all the youngsters have put in raising and showing the animals that were exhibited at the fair.

In the market sheep division, the 4-H grand champion was a sheep exhibited by Kaylee Condie of Grow Em & Show Em. The reserve champion was Pond R Rosa Partners 4-H member Lacey Desserault's sheep.

Rylee Suhadolnik of Prosser High School's FFA chapter had a grand champion market sheep and Haley Ziegler of Zillah High School FFA showed a market sheep that earned reserve champion honors.

Reserve champion market beef honors were earned by Brook Wheeler of Critters and Creations 4-H Club, and Alex Prins of Green Valley 4-H Club earned the ribbon for the grand champion market beef entry.

FFA member Toni Adams of Prosser earned grand champion honors in market beef and fellow Prosser FFA member Emilee Giles was presented the ribbon for the reserve champion market beef entry.

For their swine, Caleb Mortenson of Work & Whistle 4-H Club earned the grand champion honors, and Makayla Marro of the same club was presented the ribbon for the reserve champion swine.

The grand champion FFA market swine ribbon was presented to Christopher Bestebreur of Sunnyside High School and reserve champion honors were presented to Megan Wind of Sunnyside FFA chapter.

Earning grand champion honors for her market goat was Hannah Dexter of Naches Valley 4-H Club and reserve honors were awarded to Kera Dexter of the same club.

Jacob Herriges of Selah High School's FFA chapter earned grand champion honors in the FFA division for market goats. He also earned grand champion honors for his Ayrshire and Milking Short Horn dairy cows in the senior heifer division, and reserve champion honors for a Brown Swiss dairy yearling entered at the fair.

Youngsters who groomed felines for the purpose of showing and fitting brought home a few ribbons, as well. Erin Gauley earned grand champion honors in junior fitting and showing. Grand champion honors in the novice division were earned by Jessica Gorman.

Another showing and fitting for pocket pets, which are small birds, reptiles or amphibians, provided Gauley with a 4-H junior champion ribbon. Dylan Radach earned reserve champion honors. Gorman again showed an animal in the novice division, earning grand champion honors.

Simon Prins, Kayla Van Wieringen, Emily Banks, Katelyn Banks and John Prins all earned grand champion honors for dairy cows shown at the fair. Reserve champion honors in the dairy cow division were earned by Shaylon Struikmans, Alex Prins, Van Wieringen and Austin Prins.

In the rabbit barn numerous exhibitors earned grand champion honors. For fitting and showing Emery Osborn and Layne Padelford earned grand champion honors, and reserve champion honors were presented to Rebecca Pettingill and Onnika Cohenour. Amanda Bestebreur and Abbigale Perry each earned a grand champion ribbon in fitting and showing; and reserve champion honors were earned by Olen Osborn and Albert Aguilar.

Poultry winners for 2012 included grand champion honors in the junior division earned by Ryan LeCuyer and senior division earned by Olen Osborn. The FFA grand champion ribbon was earned by Leah Shenyer. Earning reserve champion ribbons was Maddie Burris in the junior division.

Mensonides said, "This was such a great year. I can only hope the number of entries continues to grow. It's a lot of work, but it's all about the kids."

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