Montgomery County 4H had a stellar showing at this year’s Dixie National Rodeo.
According to Montgomery County Extension Agent Amy Ware, more than $50,000 came back to Montgomery County in Sale of Champions money and scholarships. Also a Kilmichael 4Her came home with the top prize for lambs.
Avery Scott Wood of Kilmichael won Grand Champion Market Lamb in the Dixie National, Ware said. Dixie National crowns four grand champions each year in four categories – steer, hog, goat, and lamb. Wood also showcased her lamb, Dak, in the Sale of Champions which brought $13,000.
Also participating in the Sale of Champions, Hagan, Katy Kendell, and Hannah Ware received the Division 1 Reserve Champion for their lamb and a Division 2 champion for another lamb. Taylor and Reagan Shurden took home the Division 2 Reserve Champion Title for their lamb, and the Wares took home a Division 5 Champion title for lamb.
“Of the 43 animals in the Sale of Champions, Montgomery County had five – the most of any other county,” Ware said. “Those five sheep plus our scholarship money was over $50,000, and it came back to Montgomery County in scholarships and the sale of animals.”
Ware said Wood and the Wares also received Mississippi bred awards for their sheep.
Two graduating seniors, Rachel VanHorn and Wyatt Chambley, both won at the Delta District competition and received $500 Senior Showmanship Scholarships.
“You have to be a graduate and you have to be the highest-placing graduating senior,” Ware said. “Both of our kids from our county one that one.”
VanHorn and Chambley also were awarded scholarships at Dixie National.
VanHorn, who shows goats, was awarded the Buddy Banes Showmanship Scholarship, sponsored by the Dixie National Booster Club, in the amount of $1,200. Chambley was awarded the Bill Dupree Lamb Showmanship Scholarship, also sponsored by the Dixie National Booster Club, in the amount of $,1,200.
“Rachael and Wyatt also qualified to apply for the Dixie National Sale Scholarship, sponsored by the Sale of Champions Committee,” Ware said. “There were 25 scholarships available for $1,500. They submitted applications, and [those applications] were ranked one through 25.”
VanHorn ranked seventh of the 25, and Chambley ranked ninth.
“To have two [scholarship recipients] in the top 25 is good,” Ware said.
Jacey Eldridge and Hagen Ware were awareded $2,000 Premier Exhibitor scholarships, Ware said. Eldridge won in the swine division, and Ware in the lamb division.
To win a Premier Exhibitor scholarships, applicants must fill out entry forms, complete a written exam, place in showmanship, nominate an animal and see how it places, and complete a skill-a-thon which shows the applicant’s knowledge of their animal.
“I was just tickled to death how well [Montgomery County 4H] represented the county down there,” Ware said. It was a proud extension agent moment.”
Ware said 23 families participate in 4H in Montgomery County, and not only are each 4Her very competitive, they all work hard and take their commitment to the program very seriously.
“These kids work nine or 10 months out of the year,” Ware said. “[Our Dixie National finish] shows that hard work and dedication to a project pays off. The 4H program is great and teaches children responsibility to do the livestock program. It is not for the faint of heart.”