MONTCALM TOWNSHIP — A Greenville teenager known for his expertise in showing poultry during the Montcalm County 4-H Fair walked away with more than he bargained for after being declared this year’s sweepstakes showmanship champion.
Having been awarded the showmanship champion for poultry for the second consecutive year, Carmen Deseno, 18, was given the task — along with nine other 4-H’ers — of showing 10 total animals in an effort to be declared the sweepstakes champion.
Deseno was declared this year’s winner on Saturday morning at the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds, which is just north of Greenville.
“I won showmanship in poultry and then I had to work with the other animals in each showmanship category,” Deseno said. “I’ve shown pretty much everything else before, so that helped.”
Deseno, of the Country Cruisers 4-H Club, has been involved with 4-H for eight years and also shows rabbits.
“I’ve won showmanship before, but this is my first time winning the sweepstakes championship,” he said. “It was pretty cool, I wasn’t expecting to win.
You have to know all of the body parts of each animal, how to handle them and be knowledgeable of other things like what diseases they can get.”
According to Montcalm County 4-H Fair Association Board Member Lisa Johnson, the task of showing all 10 animals — the dairy cow, steer, dog, goat, chicken, sheep, horse, pig, rabbit and the cavy — is not an easy one.
“It’s a big task to take on,” she said. “A lot of 4-H’ers will show two or three different species, but it’s not easy taking on all 10. They are all shown very differently.”
Johnson said each showmanship champion is entered into the sweepstakes and are then judged on showing the nine other animals that are shown throughout the 4-H Fair.
Deseno said he hopes to compete again next year and go for the chance at becoming a two-year champion.