By KATIE FISHER
COLUMBUS — At this year’s Ohio State Fair, Kaci Carter, Cadiz, Ohio, put Harrison County on the map, and the county’s residents rallied to support her in return.
Carter, who has shown market turkeys at the state fair for three years, raised this year’s grand champion market turkey.
When Carter walked into the ring at the Sale of Champions Sunday, Aug. 4, she was the first-ever exhibitor from Harrison County to do so. And proud of their hometown girl, individuals and small businesses from Harrison County formed a coalition to set a new record bid of $13,000 for the grand champion turkey.
Buyers included: : CBC Pipeline, D&J Sales and Service Inc., Seleski Broiler Farm, Cadiz Animal Clinic, D&E Electric, Eberhart Service Center, Joe Myers, Harrison County Service, Willoughby & Company CPA, Clay’s Drive In, Toland Trucking the Harrison County Commissioners and Energy Partners, LP.
Taking it to next level
“This experience has been a step up from the county fair,” Carter said. “It is a different level of competition, but that is the reason why I came, to broaden to my 4-H and FFA career.”
This year she also placed second in the 16-year-old division for showmanship.
Although she has never shown other animals at the state level, Carter also raises chickens and hogs for her county fair. The Harrison County Fair was held the first week of July, before the state fair.
Carter serves as the reporter for the Harrison Central FFA Chapter, advised by Don Jones, and she is the secretary for her 4-H club.
“FFA takes a lot of my time, gladly,” she said.
She also throws shot and discus in high school track and field, and volunteers help at the local food bank.
Aside from her sports and community involvement, the high school junior knows her livestock.
“It starts at Day One; you cannot be a good groomer if you don’t have a good bird,” she said. “It is like any animal — it is what it is when the judge gets their hands on it.”
For all exhibitors, it takes time and dedication for the livestock projects to get to the state level, and Carter said you have to pay attention to the basics: feed, genetics, grooming, behavior, etc.
Carter sees her win as something more than an honor for her.
“It put my county’s name on the map and that is what I am extremely proud of,” she said. “We have never had an animal walk through the Sale of Champions at the Ohio State Fair, until now.”