Hog wild day at Kossuth County Fair
Fair, entertainment continue through Saturday
ALGONA — The 2020 Kossuth County Fair began Sunday and runs through Saturday with an agenda full of livestock shows, grandstand events and more.
On Tuesday, the sounds of grunts, squeals plus cheers from the audience filled the air as all attention was on the exhibitors and their swine projects.
Jenessa Ehman, 16, of Fenton, stepped out of her comfort zone this year, showing pigs and sheep for the first time.
“I’m always up for learning new things and this just seemed like a good thing to learn,” she said. “It’s always interesting to try something new.”
Ehman said she was showing a gilt that belonged to Morgan and Kory Kuecker. Ehman said she has been working with her pig.
“I walked her once or twice a week,” she said. “She has been a real easy pig.”
In addition to sheep and her pig, Ehman was also planning on showing horses and a bottle calf later on in the week.
No matter what animal Ehman said she has in the show ring, she enjoys the challenge.
“I’ve liked the whole experience,” she said. “It’s been pretty fun.”
Grant Kramer, 11, of Algona, considers the 2020 Kossuth County swine show a success.
He won the lotto pen of three class, took third place overall lotto pig, was winner of the lotto showmanship class, first place lightweight gilt and earned two reserve champions.
“I feel like I did good. I can do better next year. I just need to try harder,” said Kramer, adding that he is proud of himself, especially because he beat out his big sister, Allison Kramer.
“He did very, very well in the ring,” said Allison Kramer. “I was surprised when he won showmanship, but he definitely earned that. He did amazing today and I am very proud of him.”
Grant Kramer says he likes showing pigs. Not only is it fun, but he feels they are easier than some of the other animals he shows.
He said he was looking forward to also showing a bucket calf, his dog and especially was excited to show his Mini-Rex rabbit, Astrix.
Joanna Fullerton, 17, of LuVerne, the reigning Jr. Miss Kossuth County Fair, wasn’t showing pigs Tuesday, but was on hand helping to hand out ribbons and trophies and enjoying her second year as a member of the Kossuth County Fair royalty.
“It’s been crazy this year,” she said. “Technically this isn’t our year. We should be handing our crowns away tonight to a new set of royalty, but with COVID they decided to cancel the pageant, so we are just filling in this year.”
Fullerton lent her 3/4 Friesian mare and foal duo to the Ag Learning Center this year and was looking forward to the horse shows on Thursday and Friday. Fullerton said she would be showing in the majority of the classes including Western Pleasure, halter, showmanship, barrels and poles.
Those speed events such as barrels and poles, Fullerton said, are her favorite.
Fullerton got her first horse when she was 12 and began showing just a year later.
“It’s an interesting relationship you can create and once you got that, it’s cool the things you can accomplish having a bond with a big, massive creature,” she said.
Meredith Nelson, Kossuth County Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program coordinator, said all things considered, the 2020 Kossuth County Fair is looking to be a successful one.
Due to some scheduling conflicts such as the North Central Iowa Showdown and the Iowa State Fair Special livestock shows, Kossuth County had to do several schedule changes in order to accommodate their 4-H and FFA youth and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In my perspective, things are going well,” she said. “COVID or not, the kids have been doing really great with their livestock and other projects. It’s a tough year. We had to find that compromise of allowing some normalcy for the kids and keeping people safe.”
The fair continues on today with a pet show at 1 p.m. with the pen cattle show and carcass show to follow that afternoon; then the Johnny Holm Band takes the stage at 8 p.m. The horses and poultry take to the show ring on Thursday with the Kossuth County Fair dirt track racing special — the Hovinga Memorial at 7 p.m.
More horse show action and the bucket/bottle calf show continues on Friday along with a Kossuth County Fair annual tractor ride at 8 a.m. and the demolition derby that evening at 7 p.m.
Entertainment on Saturday includes the sixth annual Gary Harken Memorial Race at 6 p.m. with Casey Muessingman performing 9 p.m. to midnight.