Livestock exhibits a way for families to work together

(From left) Sisters Cheyenne, 16, and Cassidy, 12, Hunt of Mexico prepare their goats for show at the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair Tuesday afternoon with a little help from mom. Like many families involved in 4-H and FFA, the Hunt girls got started showing because their parents and older sister were involved.

(From left) Sisters Cheyenne, 16, and Cassidy, 12, Hunt of Mexico prepare their goats for show at the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair Tuesday afternoon with a little help from mom. Like many families involved in 4-H and FFA, the Hunt girls got started showing because their parents and older sister were involved. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

Ask just about any of the area youth participating in the livestock exhibits at the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair how they got started with 4-H and/or FFA and the answer will include an explanation of older siblings, parents or other relatives who were involved when they were younger.

For many Callaway families, the intensive work and preparation that goes into preparing an animal — whether it be a swine, goat, sheep, cattle, poultry or rabbit — for show is a way for them to bond as they pass on knowledge and share the workload.

Klarissa Minish, 18, of Holts Summit, who won ribbons in many of the sheep classes Tuesday afternoon, is the fifth generation of her family to do so.

“My grandfather (fair board member Kevin Minish) got me into it,” Klarissa Minish said. “I’m the fifth generation showing livestock, and I want to keep it going.”

After 10 years with 4-H and four years with FFA, she has done a good job of carrying on the family tradition, showing everything from sheep and goats to horses, cattle and rabbits. This year she is showing horses, goats, sheep and cattle.

“(I’ve shown) just about anything that has four legs,” Minish said.

That works out to hundreds of hours caring, feeding, training and grooming for her animals and solidifying her bond not only with family members, but also with other 4-H and FFA members she has grown up showing with over the years — which Minish said is her favorite part of working with livestock.

“I just like being here and the environment that the shows have. Everyone is happy, you always talk to everybody and it’s just fun,” Minish said. “You meet so many new friends and people every day, and they’re people you’ll be friends with for a lifetime.

“My grandpa, he and his friends have been together forever, and now his friends’ grandchildren are my friends.”

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