Purchase photos

Cruising NWKS: Putting on a show

8/14/2012

By GAYLE WEBER

gweber@dailynews.net

OBERLIN -- Fair week can be stressful for 4-H'ers. Just ask Miki Dorshorst.

One minute she was showing livestock and winning grand champion round robin showman at the Decatur County Fair last week. The next, she was picking mud out of her hair after a round of mud volleyball.

"It's hectic," she said. "There's something every day."

And sometimes, three things a day. On Thursday, she and four other 4-H'ers showed a lamb, pig, steer and horse in the round robin showmanship competition. Dorshorst, an 11-year member of 4-H, was named senior grand champion, though she only shows pigs individually. Along with showmanship, the round robin competition also tests the agricultural awareness knowledge of 4-H'ers.

"I've actually done round robin a few times, so it's not too bad," she said.

Then, she ran off to the first-ever mud volleyball tournament at the Decatur County Fair.

"It's kind of an experiment," Dorshorst said as she picked mud out of her braided hair. "But I have a feeling it's coming back."

Once she got cleaned up Thursday night, she was headed to the 4-H livestock sale.

Throw in some volunteer work on the fairgrounds and the week is just as stressful as Dorshorst makes it out to be.

"Every part of the fair you see is run by volunteers," Dorshorst said.

With a home-owned carnival to boot, the Decatur County Fair relies on volunteerism of community and school groups to help the fair run smoothly in early August every year.

It's something Carrie Zodrow, Oberlin, appreciates when she takes her six grandchildren to the fair.

"Being hometown run, it's really a family affair," she said. "We're looking forward to taking the grandkids on the rides tonight."

The rides are part of the fun for Konnor Witt, a Decatur County 4-H'er from Danbury, Neb. But showing animals are too.

Witt was named intermediate grand champion in the round robin showmanship competition Thursday. He usually shows pigs and horses at the fair.

"You just gotta practice with it a little bit," Witt said of showing the other animals in the competition.

And his practice with the animals, he said, helps make fair week a little more enjoyable.

"Just gotta be ready," he said.