There is a “One of a kind” livestock show happening next week. While the week will be busy with fair and many local kids participating in showing their 4-H & FFA projects, the focus of the Alternative Stock Show Classic (ASSOC) will be on a different type of “showman.”
Kids and adults with intellectual disabilities (and or EIP’s) from all around Klamath County will gather on August 2nd at 3:00 pm to participate in a special showmanship livestock show. They are assisted by local FFA and 4-H students, who will assist the special showman on how to clean, groom, and practice show maneuvers with their choice of pigs, goats, or sheep.
After the show preparation, the contestants and their 4-H/FFA assistants will lead their animals into the show arena for the judging. During this process, showmen discover new strengths, abilities, and skills they may not have known they had. This show gives a hands-on opportunity for both the showman and the 4-H/FFA assistants, to work together with livestock. An opportunity a classroom can’t teach. The combination of the 4-H/FFA assistants and our showman are inspiring people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of peoples talents and potential.
Alternative Stock Show Classic first started back in 2016. The ASSOC modeled their program after a concept from an FFA student in the Mid-west. Within a matter of days, Klamath County 4-H, Oregon State University, Klamath County Fair, and Shearer Images partnered with the Audrey Lee Rice “YOU CAN DO IT!” award to make this show a reality. The show was such a success it has now become an annual event at the Klamath County Fair.
“Animals have an amazing effect on people and especially people with disabilities. We take these showmen that have probably never been around livestock, let alone the agriculture industry, and bring them together to promote agriculture,” said ASSOC coordinator, Chelsea Shearer. “Going back to the roots of agricultural education is what it’s about; the FFA/4-H kids are the Basin’s future, not only does this show give back to the community, it builds professionalism with the students.”
If you or anyone you know may be interested in participating in this year’s show, please contact Klamath County 4-H office at 541- 883-7131. While the entry deadline is July 31st, no one will be turned away. During the fair, entry forms will be available at the 4-H office inside the Stillwell Building. Showmen will meet at the Fairgrounds office at 3 pm, and entry to the fair for showmen is free thanks to the Klamath County Fair Grounds. We hope to see you in the stands cheering on these amazing showmen and kids!