The smell of cedar shavings and sound of pigs squealing filled the air at the Jefferson Cole Jaycees Cole County Fairgrounds on Tuesday afternoon.
Compared to previous years, the 4-H and FFA barns were quite bare for the breeding swine show, with contestants only using the exhibition barn to house their pens, with the other two show barns empty.
Thirteen-year-old Garrett Holtgrewe used the open space for his five swine, four crossbreds and one White Chester.
Although Holtgrewe prepared his swine on his own, bathing them at the wash station and guiding them to the show ring, he was not alone.
Holtgrewe is a fifth-generation 4-H member and was joined by his parents and grandparents, who were also involved in 4-H during their youth.
"My parents were always a part of (4-H), and they actually had me join before I could be in 4-H, so I was a Clover Kid for a while and I joined 4-H when I was 8," Holtgrewe said.
While 4-H is open to youth 8-18 years old, the organization offers the Clover Kids program for those 5-7.
Clover Kids participate in club meetings but do not enroll in projects or show animals, according to the University of Missouri Extension website. Rather, Clover Kids engage in activities led by adult leaders which "help them learn how to get along and share with others, explore many different interests, learn basic living skills, build self-confidence, learn to communicate effectively and learn how to be a part of a group."
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Holtgrewe joined the Stringtown-Corinth 4-H Club, located in the Russellville/Lohman area, five years ago and said he has shown swine each year — making him 8 years old when he first entered the show ring.
Thoughts on naming livestock animals differ from member to member, but Holtgrewe said he does name his swine. This year, he showed crossbreds Charlie, Tiger, Bulldozer, and Bullseye and White Chester Folicia.
Besides swine, Holtgrewe said, he has also shown a steer, is typically involved in the welding project and explored photography for the first time this year. Both of his photo entries received blue ribbons — exhibiting the highest quality of work — and one is moving on to the Missouri State Fair later this summer.
Outside of 4-H, Holtgrewe is involved in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Corps, a national youth leadership organization, which focuses on instilling moral character and life skills in young men through programs modeled after the Navy. The organization is available to children 10 years old through high school.
"I plan on going to Marine Corps ROTC at Mizzou and joining the Marines as an officer," Holtgrewe said.
Holtgrewe's photographs can be viewed in the 4-H exhibition hall throughout the weekend at the Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fair.
Enjoyed this feature? Check out other Faces of the Fair: Eileen Shafer, Toni Haselhorst, Jessica Koenigsfeld, Taylor Riley and Madisyn Suess. The News Tribune will feature a new person every day during the Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fair, so watch for more faces!Gallery: PHOTO GALLERY: Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fair