Clinton Excels at Van Buren County Fair


Kyler Hensley, Writer

Clinton, AR– Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” One thing is for sure, Clinton students did not shy away from work. In fact they have seized the opportunity to work hard over the past several months and achieve their goals. Clinton’s show season starts in the early spring, and runs into late October. The Jacket Journal spoke with showing champion Lathan Newland, and asked him just how much preparation went into showing. Newland responded, “For the past month we have washed and walked pigs everyday.  Before that I have woke up at 6 every morning to feed, and out until 7:30 every night. It is hard work, but it is all worth it.” Clinton FFA is led by Ag teachers Chad Mooney, Justin Wiedower, and Kori Kimes.

This year Clinton was represented by students ranging from Pre-K to the Clinton High School FFA members. We (Jacket Journal) were able to catch up with Lisa Kirk, mother of Emily Kirk a senior showman at Clinton High School to get some insight into her thoughts on livestock showing. “Emily has been showing since her Sophomore year.  It has been one of the highlights of her high school years at CHS. She has watched, studied, and asked questions to improve her showing abilities as well as how to show each animal based on how that animal will be seen at its best. She has spent countless hours feeding, washing, exercising her lambs, working their ‘leg shag’, and going to clinics and jackpots.  Watching her win the Commercial Ewe show at the VBC Fair this year with a lamb she raised was probably the highlight of her career at CHS.” Kirk goes on to say, “We can’t thank our great Agri teachers/coaches enough for all their help in making Emily the showman she has evolved into. Without their help and encouragement, she wouldn’t have as many purple ribbons as she has received.”

Clinton had a dominant run at the Van Buren County Fair Livestock Show winning top honors in every class available.  Best of the Best winner Aly Bramlett said, “Winning best of the best was a very humbling experience. We put in so many hours in working with our animals and sacrifice so many late nights and early mornings. For all of that hard work to pay off in the end is a very accomplishing feeling that I will take with me.”

The following are the results of the Van Buren County Fair Livestock Show:

Market Goat Show

Brianna Strickland- 1st in class; Grand Champion overall

Kaylee Hobbs- 1st and 2nd in class; Reserve Grand Champion overall

Cassidy Strickland- 1st in class; 3rd overall

Brayden Mooney- 1st, 1st, and 2nd in class; 4th overall

Brooke Bradford-1st and 3rd in class; 5th overall

Market Lamb Show

Lacey Belle McJunkins- 1st in class; Grand Champion overall

Hannah Mooney- 1st and 2nd in class; Reserve Grand Champion; Junior    


Emily Kirk-1st in class in three classes; 3rd Overall

Brooke Davenport- 1st and 2nd in class; 4th overall

Natalie Alexander- 1st in class; 5th overall

Katie McJunkins- 2nd in class; 6th overall

Aly Bramlett- Senior Showmanship

Commercial Ewe Show

Emily Kirk- Grand Champion Ewe

ABL Show

Lacey Belle McJunkins- Grand Champion

Hannah Mooney- Reserve Grand Champion

Market Hog

Lathan Newland- 1st in Class, Grand Champion Overall, and Senior Showmanship.

Finley Newland- 2nd in Class, Reserve Grand Champion Overall

Weston Newland- 1st in Class, 4th place Overall

Garrison Robbins- 1st in Class, 3rd place Overall.

Blaine Emberton- 1st in Class, 5th place Overall.

Jasper Burgess- 1st in Class, 11th place Overall.

Trey Puckett- 2nd in Class, 13th place Overall.

Kaybri Kimes- 2nd in Class, 10th place Overall


Sydney Standridge- Grand Champion Sim Solution, Overall Supreme Beef Heifer, Reserve Grand Champion Steer, Junior Showmanship Winner.

Sam Standridge- Grand Champion Hereford Heifer, Reserve Grand Champion Commercial Heifer, Third Overall Supreme Beef Heifer.

Shelby Standridge- Grand Champion Angus, Grand Champion Commercial Heifer, Overall Reserve Grand Champion Supreme Beef Heifer.

Rabbit Show

Harper Hutchins-Five 1st in Class, Reserve Grand Champion.

Commercial Gilt

Jasper Burgess Grand Champion Commercial Gilt

Klaysi Kimes- Grand Champion Duroc and Grand Champion Yorkshire

The Van Buren County Livestock Show comes to an end at the Premium Sale. At the premium sale local businesses come and show their support by buying the animals.  All of the proceeds go to the student showing. Many use the money made here as a building block for next year. The success of the Clinton students was evident if you were in attendance at the Premium Sale on Saturday morning.  21 of the 31 champions featured at the Premium sale were Clinton students. This is a testimony to a successful program in our school community driven by hard working Ag teachers, parents, and students. Livestock showing is more than just about wins and ribbons however it is many life lessons learned.  In 2012 Texas Tech University sought to quantify the benefits of Livestock showing to today’s youth. Several themes emerged such as: the development of social relationships among showers, character development, family togetherness/family values, exposure to competition, and knowledge and care of animals.  The benefits to a student that participates in livestock showing are benefits that will help the student later in life by building a solid foundation. Clinton students are not finished, they will be heading to Melbourne this week to compete in the North Central Arkansas District Fair.