Fair wraps up with wins for Weiser showmen

All was quiet in Cambridge Sunday morning, hardly a telltale sign that the city’s second-biggest draw of the year, aside from Hells Canyon Days, had taken place.
 The 2022 Washington County Fair, its motto this year “Red, White and Blue This Fair is for You!” lived up to its billing, drawing hundreds over a five-day period to the small, rural community.
 From dozens of exhibits to livestock shows, the fair, which truly offered something for everyone, wrapped up on Saturday, which featured a livestock sale, parade, and the ICA-Sanctioned Cambridge Rodeo among other activities and attractions.
 By Saturday afternoon, there were only a handful of showmen remaining, all vying for the FFA and 4-H Large Animal Round Robin Grand Champion title, which netted big finishes by Weiser members.
 On Saturday, 2022 Weiser High School graduate Emily Pope took the 4-H Large Animal Round Robin Grand Champion title, complementing her 4-H Grand Champion Meat Goat Showman title and FFA Reserve Champion Horse Showman finish.
 Pope said she set high goals for her final year of competition representing both 4-H and FFA.
 “I was kind of nervous because this was my last time,” said Pope who sacrificed time with friends and skipped various activities to make sure she was ready for this year’s fair. 
 “I wanted to do good because there is no going back,” she said. “There was a lot of work, a lot of stressing, a lot of staying up late every night.”
 Pope, who will attend Treasure Valley Community College this fall in pursuit of a teaching degree, said she loves helping others and teaching kids, which was apparent in her effort to help fellow competitors who had the same end goal in mind.
 “I actually helped a few kids who were in the Large Animal Round Robin for FFA and 4-H because this is my third year being in it,” she said. “I was in round robin twice last year, one for FFA and once for 4-H, and once for 4-H in 2020. I helped a bunch of kids because I have that experience and knowledge under my belt and was glad to pass that on to my peers, helping them out and watching them succeed.”
 Weiser High classmate, Willy Shirts, earned 4-H Reserve Champion behind Pope. Weiser FFA member, Trista Buescher, took home the Market Sheep Grand Champion title, as well as FFA Reserve Champion for the Large Animal Round Robin.
 Weiser FFA member Kylee Erickson took home the Grand Champion title, showing her lamb, which her grandmother named “Barbara.”
 “I felt pretty excited, and I was pretty proud of myself because I wasn’t really expecting it,” she said. “It was pretty fun.”
 Pope brought home her large animal title with her favorite goat “Dolly,” a South African Boar Goat she named after iconic sing-songwriter Dolly Parton.
 “The judge asked me to tell her something interesting about my goat and I told her that it’s ‘my goat,’” she explained. “I told her that because so many people have handled her and they are, like, ‘Man, this goat is pretty spoiled’ and I just sit there and giggle and laugh because she will only mind me. As soon as I have her, she knows she has to set up and get herself prepared and have her game face on.”
 Pope, who developed a love for animals at a young age through her grandparents, said she tried participating in various sports and was dancing, but eventually put those activities behind her.
 “It was fun but it wasn’t my thing; it wasn’t what I loved to do,” she said. “I’ve always loved horses. My seventh-grade year, I finally got a horse and joined 4-H. I quit dancing and kind of bloomed from there.”
 Pope, she plans to become a 4-H leader.


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