KENDALLVILLE — She’s going to college to study agribusiness.
But Callie Lemper, 18, might want to get into acting.
In a Noble County 4-H Fair Round Robin Showmanship competition with more than a little green to it, Lemper kept her nerves hidden below the surface to claim gold Thursday night, taking home the fair’s most prestigious prize after two hours of competition at the Noble County Fairgrounds in Kendallville.
“I was really nervous the whole time,” Lemper said. “There were a lot of really good showmen competing.”
Lemper graduated this year from Churubusco High School. She will attend Huntington University where she will study agribusiness.
Lemper qualified for the Round Robin by winning showmanship honors in sheep. In the Round Robin format, competitors sit out the species for which they qualified for the competition.
The evening started with horses in the Horse and Pony Arena, before moving to the large animal show arena for the beef, dairy and dairy steer portions of the competition. Lemper said she struggled early.
“I just show smaller animals,” she said. “I just try to stay as calm as I could.”
Before she showed each of the seven animals, she had one constant notion.
“I thought, this was my last chance,” she said. “So I better do it right.”
Mission accomplished. Any fretting she might have been doing on the inside was well masked as she got down to business.
The evening ended right in Lemper’s wheelhouse with the smaller species she is more comfortable with — goats, swine, dairy goats and sheep.
In the end, the only 10-year 4-H member in the competition — and the only senior — won the top prize.
Her age may have set her apart, but Lemper couldn’t have felt too lonely. Six of the eight competitors Thursday night were from Green Township.
“It speaks volume,” she said of the club’s representation in the Round Robin. “We’re a group of hard-working kids.”
Also competing in Thursday’s Round Robin from Green Township were Bailey Taylor (who won swine showmanship at this year’s fair), Darian Manth (Horse & Pony), Makenzie Resler (dairy), Devyn Gaff (boer goats) and Remi Earnhart (dairy steer).
Other competitors were Noble Township’s Jocelyn Winebnrenner (dairy goat) and Swan Township’s Konner Kirkpatrick (beef).
Kirkpatrick was the lone male in the competition.