GRAND ISLAND – The Nebraska State Fair ended on a high note with one of the biggest livestock competitions of the season.

The 4-H and FFA champions from around the state came together to represent their counties and participate in the 14th annual Nebraska Elite Showman competition. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and the Nebraska Rural Radio Association coordinate this event in cooperation with the Nebraska State Fair.

“I’m pleased that NDA and our partners are able to coordinate and sponsor events like the Elite Showman Competition to reward 4-H and FFA students for their hard work and dedication to Nebraska agriculture,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman. “Congratulations to the winners and to all of the participants for making this year’s Elite Showman Competition so exceptional.”

Elite Showmen competitors must be between 14 to 18 years of age and enrolled in 4-H or FFA. Counties are able to select only one student to represent them to compete at the Elite Showman competition at the State Fair. Agricultural business and organizations generously contribute to the contest in order for the winners to receive prize money along with their statewide recognition.

In this year’s Nebraska Elite Showman Competition, 34 participants represented their counties. Competitors are scored on beef, swine, sheep and goat showmanship, as well as interview skills and knowledge via a written test. Along with first, second and third place overall winners, winners are selected for each division. The top overall Elite Showman receives $2,000, the second place finisher receives $1,000 and the third place overall winner receives $500. Division winners are awarded $300 each. All other competitors receive a $50 prize.

Saunders County resident Lauren Kavan was a competitor in the event.

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