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Singleton, Schafer Win in Kendallville


by Jerry Goshert

Published: Friday, June 26, 2020

A pair of Marshall County youths walked away with the top awards last Saturday at the Noble County Preview Dairy Steer Show in Kendallville.

The two big winners were Whittlee Singleton and Kaiden Schafer, both of Marshall County. Singleton exhibited the grand champion dairy steer, while Schafer brought the grand champion dairy feeder calf. The judge was Lindsey Noll of Allen County.

Singleton, who is in her fourth year of 4-H competition, actually had two champions in the dairy steer show. She exhibited the champion heavyweight steer and the champion mediumweight steer. In the grand drive, she led the champion mediumweight to the victory circle, placing ahead of the reserve champion mediumweight and the overall reserve champion shown by Cate Cormany of Whitley County.

In the heavyweight division, Kyleigh Cripps of Allen County showed the reserve champion dairy steer.

Justin Beer of Kosciusko County exhibited the winner in the lightweight division, placing ahead of Seth Ariens of Putnam County, Ind. and his reserve

champion steer.

In the dairy feeder calf show, the judge picked Schafer's calf as the winner in both the heavyweight division and the grand drive. The reserve champion was the champion mediumweight calf shown by Zachary Klotz of Elkhart County.

The reserve champion in the heavyweight division belonged to Dakota Hitzemann of Allen County.

Drew Dafforn of Allen County showed the reserve champion in the mediumweight division.

In the lightweight division, Justin Beer exhibited the champion and Leah Pizzuto of Marshall County had the reserve.

In the showmanship contests, Drew Dafforn was selected as the champion senior showman. Other finalists were: second, Breanna Laughlin, Licking County, Ohio; and third, Dakota Hitzemann.

In intermediate showmanship, Remi Earnhart of Noble County captured the first-place ribbon. Joshua Marker of Noble County placed second, and Whittlee Singleton was third.

The junior showmanship champion was Breanna Wolheter of LaGrange County. Leah Pizzuto placed second, and Tenlee Phares of Noble County was third.

The in-person show at the Noble County Fairgrounds featured 41 dairy steers and 129 dairy feeder steers. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many exhibitors showed their calves from the trailer. Show organizers limited registrations to keep the number of people under 250.

With many county fairs shifting to a virtual format this year, many exhibitors and their families were happy to have the opportunity to compete in a live show.

Whittlee Singleton's mot-

her, Staci Singleton, said the COVID-19 lockdown changed many aspects of their daily lives, but one constant was their 4-H animals.

"Having the cattle has really been a blessing because it's something we can get out of the house and go—a project to keep working on, something to work towards," she said. "It's been nerve-wracking because we don't know if we're going to have shows, or what's going to happen, but the cattle still have to be worked with."

She added that 4-H gave the family "something to keep working toward."

Whittlee plans to compete virtually in the Marshall County 4-H Fair and show in person at another upcoming event in Argos. Then she will take two animals, the maximum number allowed, to the Indiana State Fair's 4-H showcase in August. Last year, she exhibited six dairy steers at the state fair.

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