RANDOLPH, Ohio – Katy Shircliff has two more years to bring her animals to the Portage County Fair. But she’s already worrying about the end of her 4-H days.
“It’s my life and I’m going to miss it so bad,” said the 17-year-old.
It’s no wonder. Shircliff has already had more success with her lambs, hogs and steers than most people will ever have.
Last year she went down in the county records as being the first person to exhibit the champion project animal in all three species. And then she did it again this year.
The project champion is figured by a point system where 4-H’ers receive a score for how well they do in their market class, showmanship and a written skillathon test. Those three scores are averaged and the highest wins “project animal.”
Spreading the joy. Getting project champion for lambs, hogs and steers was surprising enough the first year, but doing it again was a shock, she said.
“I’m so happy to have won,” she said, “but I also wish someone else will do the same thing so they can experience what I have.”
Her success should come as no surprise. This is a girl who works with each of her animals twice a day all summer. And this is a girl who says there’s nothing else she’d rather do with her time.
Shircliff’s also been on the county livestock judging team for six years and went to the national competition in Kansas City, Mo., last year. Her team placed 10th in the nation and she placed 11th individually.
Next on the list. Shircliff isn’t the only one thinking about her 4-H days being over.
Her dad, Kenny Shircliff, says he’s already worried about his daughter going off to college.
She’s taken over most of the duties on their 5-acre farm in Randolph, Ohio, and her enthusiasm for agriculture rubs off on everyone around her.
Maybe she’ll go to Ohio State, or maybe she’ll venture a bit farther from home. Maybe she’ll be a vet, maybe she’ll major in animal sciences or maybe she’d rather go into medicine.
Whatever she decides, she still has two more years of 4-H to enjoy first.
(Reporter Kristy Hebert welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419, ext. 23 or by e-mail at email@example.com.)