TURLOCK — If you got a chance to visit the fair last week, maybe you noticed the stalls lining the main walkway.
This is Champion Row, a hall of fame of sorts for livestock champions to be displayed to the public. The exhibitors whose animals are privileged enough to reside here have worked extremely hard for many months leading up to the fair. Exhibitors dedicate thousands of hours to have a shot at having a champion animal, yet only a few obtain it.
One exhibitor who received this honor was Rachel Coehlo, a junior, from Turlock FFA. This is her second year of working with swine and exhibiting them at the Stanislaus County Fair. This year, Rachel worked for four months with Zoee, her crossbreed pig. When she was chosen as Grand Champion Market Hog, Rachel said that "it was awesome, I was in shock and the adrenaline made me want to keep going."
Zoee is 6 months old and weighs 275 pounds. Rachel hoped to have more than one bidder at the Junior Livestock Auction so her hard work could pay off.
Another exhibitor with a champion animal was Kylie Miller of Ceres 4-H. She won Grand Champion 4-H Rabbit Meat Pen. A meat pen is a group of three meat rabbits that are proportional, correct and look almost identical. Kylie said that as her rabbits were judged, she was sitting there and "my hands were sweating because I was so excited."
Kylie has exhibited rabbits for four years, but this is her first year with meat rabbits. She says it's pretty fun once you get to know it. With rabbits dubbed Sweet, Smell and BBQ, it must be hard not to have fun with it.
Below is a list of the animals displayed this year on Champion Row. (Not all winning animals got to be on Champion Row, however, because of limited space and the overlapping showtimes.)
Grand champion market goat: Jessi Renfro, Beyer FFA
Reserve grand champion market goat: Tanner Morgan, Oakdale FFA
Supreme champion market lamb: Aaron Kerlee, Hughson FFA
Reserve grand champion market lamb: Caleb Johnson, Denair FFA
Grand champion all other breeds dairy female: Justin Martins, Hilmar FFA
Reserve grand champion all other breeds dairy Female: Makayla Toste, Newman 4-H
Grand champion market steer: Conner McKinzie, Valley Home 4-H
Reserve grand champion market steer: Collin McKinzie, Valley Home 4-H
Grand champion market hog: Rachel Coehlo, Turlock FFA
Reserve grand champion market hog: Jenna Heaton, Valley Home 4-H