Talawanda students are heavily involved in the 168th Butler County Fair, which opened Sunday at the fairgrounds in Hamilton.
One of the many Talawanda students who will show a host of projects at the fair this week will be looking to build on livestock success of last year.
Matthew Butterfield had the Grand Champion Barrow in last year’s Ohio State Fair after the animal, Hollywood, won Grand Champion Open Class Barrow honors at the Butler County Fair.
He’s hoping to duplicate that state fair win this year with a barrow he has named Repeat.
“We have five out (in the barn) and think three are pretty good. We’ll probably take those three to Ohio and the other two to Butler County,” he said. “We decided which one had the best chance and named him Repeat.
Butterfield, who will be a senior at Talawanda High School this school year, is serving as president of the Talawanda/Butler Tech FFA Chapter.
The county and state fairs overlap, but the hog shows do not, so he is able to participate in both fairs. The Ohio State Fair opens Wednesday and runs until Aug. 5 in Columbus.
Butterfield is preparing Repeat for a run at state-wide glory, knowing his chances are at the mercy of the judges.
“Everyone’s different. It’s all about who’s judging the animal. You may disagree, but there’s nothing you can do,” he said of the judging which has some points on objective criteria, but the rest is in the eye of the beholder.
Shows for each type of animal in categories as showmanship, market show and open show last a day each with brackets to come down to the final drive, where winners are determined. Depending on the number of animals entered and the speed of the judging it can go faster or slower.