8/24/2013 7:00 AM
By Joyce Zimmerman Southeastern Pa. Correspondent
KUTZTOWN, Pa. — Beautiful weather, quality animals and exceptional showmen converged on Aug. 16 for the annual all-around showman contest at Berks County’s Kutztown Fair.
At the close of the competition, Ashley Daub, 18, emerged the winner after garnering the highest number of points from the judges.
Daub, who earlier in the week captured the top showman award in the dairy beef show, will be a freshman this fall at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, where she plans to major in accounting and large animal science.
Tami Bennecoff, 15, a 10th-grade student at Northwestern Lehigh High School and top showman in the fair’s swine show, walked away with the reserve all-around showman title.
To compete for the coveted title, participants earn points while showing an animal of each species — dairy, swine, dairy beef, goats, sheep and beef.
Because it requires contestants to show animals that are unfamiliar to them, the contest is difficult and demands excellent showman abilities.
In addition to Daub and Bennecoff, others participating were Jaylene Lesher, 19, dairy showman champion and a student at Penn State majoring in animal science; Jessica Spatz, 18, beef showman champion and a business and administrative management major at Berks Technical Institute; Hannah Landis, 20, champion sheep showman, farmer and cattle breeder; and Kirsten Folk, 19, goat showman champion and a Manor College veterinary technology student.
The five judges were experts in their specific animal species.
Lehigh County farmer Kurt Haas judged during the swine contest, followed by Rachel Kirkhoff, a county 4-H leader and Delaware Valley College student who judged the contestants while showing in both the beef and dairy beef divisions.
Doug Seidel, local custom dairy fitter, judged for the dairy contest, and Jen Neiman did the honors in the goat division. Neiman is a teacher at Fleetwood High School and a former 4-H member.
Berks County farmer Ron Miller judged the contestants showing sheep. In the end, the points from all the judges were totaled to determine the all-around showman.
In addition to a rosette and prize money, Daub received a folding lawn chair compliments of Randy Setzer, owner of Ag Accounting Service, Easton.