County residents win at the state fair

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Pearl River County residents won money and ribbons at the Mississippi State Fair held Oct. 2 through Oct. 14.

All of the local competitors at the state fair won blue ribbons at the county fair, said Dawn Vosbein, a family and consumer science agent for the Mississippi State Extension office.

There were 27 competitors from Pearl River County in the crafts category, and they entered 42 items. County residents won 33 blue ribbons and nine red ribbons, Vosbein said.

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Craig Haydel won a first place ribbon and $25 for a wooden owl he carved. Ashley Dunn won a first place ribbon and $25 for a pastel afghan she crocheted.

In the food preservation category, all of the blue ribbons an entrant wins are added together to determine first, second and third place. There were 11 county residents in the competition with 49 jars.

Pearl River County resident Cherry Howard tied for first place with 12 blue ribbons and won $150. Howard entered 17 jars and won in the 2018 fair as well, Vosbein said. Helen Knight also repeated a victory this year, by taking third place with nine blue ribbons. Knight won $50 and entered nine jars.

The county fair has three times as many categories as the state fair, Vosbein said. That means some people who enter items into the county fair are unable to compete at the state fair because there is not an appropriate category for them. The people who are able to compete can earn money, especially in the youth categories, Vosbein said, where kids have earned up to $600. Kids can earn even greater sums for showing animals.

Regardless of the check size, competing gives the children recognition for what they do, Vosbein said. Many of the entrants in the fair competitions have competed in previous years, she said.

“Once in a while, we get somebody new. Unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of people from Picayune,” Vosbein said.

Vosbein said the drive from Picayune may deter those county residents from entering in the county fair. Sometimes people can also be intimated to enter the fair, Vosbein said, but while the state fair categories have narrowed, next year’s event will still accept a wide array of creations, from cookies to vegetables to flower arrangements.

“It doesn’t matter what it is, we’ll find a category for it,” Vosbein said.

Pearl River County’s 4-H members also earned honors at the state fair, according to a press release from 4-H extension agent Alex Shook. County participants exhibited beef, swine, sheep, goats and poultry projects.

Of 13 county participants, three were awarded top honors in their species and breed categories.

In the cattle show, Jorden Thornton received reserve champion honors with a red angus bull and Asa Lee’s heifer earned champion Brahman female. Kaci Ladner’s hog was selected as grand champion of the market hog show, the release states.