Poultry and Lamb grand champions
Becca ODonnell

Becca ODonnell holds her award-winning chicken as the Montrose County Fair.

Becca ODonnell, Senior Grand Champion Poultry Showmanship

Becca ODonnell, 17, won grand championship in poultry showmanship with her barred rock chicken, which she purchased as a chick and raised.

How long have you been participating in fair?

“About 10 years or so. I started in rabbits and got into chickens after about four years. My favorite thing about chickens is they are really easy to work with. Very few of them are temperamental. They all seem to have their own little personalities.”

How did you prepare for the show?

“For the fair, I pick the one I think looks the best and use that one for showmanship. Most of my chickens are really tame, so I have a wide variety to choose from. I chose barred rock because they are easy to work with.”

What was competing like, given pandemic restrictions?

“It was really different this year, mainly because the most fun part about the fair is hanging out with friends and walking around seeing other animals. Obviously this year, we couldn’t do that.”

What do you like best about fair?

“My favorite part about competing is there is always great sportsmanship between the kids and everyone is really happy when somebody wins. It’s like a friendly competition and you don’t have to worry about people getting offended. It’s very supportive.”

Sydney McCullough

Sydney McCullough holds Wayne, her Hampshire-Suffolk crossbred lamb at the Montrose County Fair, as her family displays awards for the grand champion market sheep.

Sydney McCullough, Grand Champion Lamb

Sydney McCullough, 17, won showing Wayne, a Hampshire-Suffolk crossbred lamb.

How long have you been participating in fair?

“Ever since I was 8 years old. My sister showed horses through 4-H when she was young. My best friend got me into showing market rabbits. I moved out of town to Olathe and ended up getting market goats and eventually entered into lambs last year. I love their personalities and how they’re willing to work with you. … They’re just kind of always willing to be your partner and work with you and give you everything they have.”

How did you prepare for the show?

“Our morning starts at around 6 and we start with feeding. At night, he gets worked. We take him for walks, run him, put him on the treadmill (to build up strength”

What was competing like, given pandemic restrictions?

“Generally, I take my goats and my lambs and we hit 10, 15, sometimes 20 jackpots (competitions) a year. This year, every single one of those jackpots has been canceled. That made everything so hard, just finding the motivation to work with my livestock. It seemed like every day, every show I worked so hard for got canceled. It was definitely one of the hardest years I had to show. … But I will continue showing livestock through different jackpots and taking them to nationals. Right now, I’m still aiming toward the Arizona nationals and the National Western Stock Show. Those have not been canceled yet.”

What do you like best about fair?

“I love the community atmosphere, how all of us kids who share the same passion can get together and exhibit our animals. We’ve been putting so much time and effort in. I see us as one big show family. Everyone who shows is my show family. It’s great to get together. … It’s just an awesome thing when you have so many people around.”

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