Slope County celebrates 95 years of fair fun

The 95th Annual Slope County Farmers Fair started off Friday, August 28 in Amidon with 64 Slope County 4-H kids bringing in their static exhibits to be interviewed and judged. There was also an open class exhibit for anyone who wished to bring an exhibit.

By RACHEL BOCK | Herald Reporter

The 95th Annual Slope County Farmers Fair started off Friday, August 28 in Amidon with 64 Slope County 4-H kids bringing in their static exhibits to be interviewed and judged. There was also an open class exhibit for anyone who wished to bring an exhibit.

The 4-H kids brought over 300 exhibits including animals this year to the fair, which impressed Slope County Extension Agent Shelby Hewson.

“I cannot believe the amount of projects, it was so cool to see all the livestock projects, and then the static projects were just awesome,” Hewson said. “I mean the kids just surprise me every year.”

Saturday morning started off with the 4-H Livestock Show as 24 4-H children showed off their quality animals of rabbits, hogs, sheep, goats, and steers. This year’s livestock judge was Garrett Kenbel, originally from Winaman, Ind., who now lives in West Fargo and works for Agassiz Seed and Supply Company in Fargo. Knebel, who went to college on a livestock judging scholarship graduated from Oklahoma State, graduated with a degree in Animal Science. Kenbel spends his free time livestock judging about two to three times a week and enjoys going to the shows and judging.

“I just love it,” Kenbel said.

Not only is the animal judged for their quality, but the exhibitor is also judged on how he or she showed that particular animal. A showman winner from each animal category is then placed into the 4-H Round Robin Show. The winner of each showman animal category brings out their animal and is judged on showing each different animal of hogs, sheep, goats, Ssteers, and horses. This year’s round robin contestants were Junior Goat Showman Emily Dinius, Senior Goat Showman Mac Stuber, Junior Sheep Showman Mitch Stuber, Senior Sheep Showman Ty Nordby, Junior Swine Showman Matthew Bock, Junior Beef Showman Emma Bock, Senior Beef Showman Mac Stuber. This year’s Junior Showman Champion is Mitch Stuber, and Senior Showman Champion is Mac Stuber.

Other events on Saturday included a Pet Show, Quilt Show, Mud Volleyball, NWBRA open 4D Barrel Race, Horseshoe Tournament, and Rib Cook-Off Supper just to name a few.

A long standing tradition at the Slope County Fair is a play production performed by the Slope County Players, which is a group of actors made up of local Slope County residents. The play was performed on Saturday night to a sold out crowd, a second showing was also held on Sunday night. This year’s play was a comedy called “The Great Nursing Home Escape” by Nathan Hartswick. Play directors Lyndsey Erickson, Charm Martian, and Kasey Burke picked out this play in July, and along with their cast members—Travis Allard, Kelley Ouradnik, Donald Nordby, Shelby Hewson, and Scott Ouradnik—met up twice a week since July for rehearsal. Even though the Slope County Players weren’t able to write this years play like they have done in the past, they still were able to add some Slope County memories into the play. The production is based on a nursing home in Slope County where the residents make plans to escape to go and watch the Mo’s Bunker Bar Softball team play a softball game. Even though their escape plan didn’t quite work out, the actors had everyone in the audience laughing in their seats.

“It’s been a lot of fun to have the Slope County Players apart of my life; I think everybody enjoys being part of that little group. Everybody is so fun to work with, it’s an honor to be part of that group,” Erickson said.

Sunday morning started off with the Rodeo Slack, Ecumenical Service, the 4-H Parade of Champions, and the 4-H Livestock Sale. The Livestock Sale brought buyers from local businesses to the fair to support the young 4-H kids as they sold their animals. This year’s sale went really well as 2 rabbits, 7 hogs, 8 sheep, 6 goats, and 15 steers were sold to the highest bidder. “Prices were a little down with the sale in some areas, but as far as buyers there were plenty of buyers,” Shelby Hewson said.

Amidon resident—and the oldest man in Peaceful Valley Township—Harvey Hewson, 84, has been coming to the Slope County Fair every year since he got out of the service in 1954. Hewson is a rock hound and likes to look for, and collect rocks, arrowheads, and other indian artifacts. Hewson would sometimes bring his treasures to the fair for people to look at and admire.

After all these years Harvey, along with his wife Donna, still enjoy coming to the fair.

“I like visiting, and watching the kids handle the cattle and the hogs,” Harvey Hewson said.

The NDRA/Slope Circuit Rodeo started Sunday afternoon off with record attendance, and the number of rodeo contestants was also up from previous years. Following the rodeo was the traditional pig roast and sweet corn meal. The proceeds of the meal were donated to Amidon resident Yvonne Stegner’s medical fund.

“I thought it went awesome, the most smoothly ran fair I thought. Attendance was way up this year. As far as the rodeo there were so many more riders. We even ran out of food, we ran out of stuff in the 4-H concession stand, we just ran out of everything,” Shelby Hewson said.

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