In the third year of the show, Animal and Me has grown to help 23 people with special needs learn about animals and how to show them in a fair.
In the inaugural year, 2017, there were only six participants, but there were so many this year that the show was split into two parts — one for large animals and another for small animals.
It was a great experience for Doris Tanner, who participated in the event for the first time, showing a sheep.
She was excited, but nervous, to go into the show ring.
“I didn’t know about sheep and how to handle them,” Tanner said after the show, gleefully holding her trophy.
She also learned a few things about the sheep, named Debbie.
“Debbie is 6 months old,” Tanner said. “Debbie loves to eat hay. She will have babies, soon.”
She loved walking around with Debbie, who she called a “good girl.”
Jason Robbins was also on the show floor, leading a goat at the end of a rope leash.
“We walked around, the name of the goat is Nancy,” he said. “An animal is a lot of responsibility ... You have to walk it around a few times.”
Robbins enjoyed the show and the people in it.
Matthew Dolman enjoyed showing a sheep, named Miley.
“It was awesome,” he said.
The show was also a good experience for the 4-H’ers who served as mentors.
Makayla Keppeler donated her time and her feeder calf to the show, helping Jeremiah Brace learn about the animal and how to show it in a fair setting.
“I think it leaves a really good impact on the people I help,” she said. “I see how excited they are and how much they enjoy doing it and I just really like being able to make them that happy and give them that experience.”
For her, it was a fun experience.
“I really enjoyed Jeremiah and I really enjoyed seeing how happy he was and how excited he was to be with my steer,” Keppeler said. “I really enjoyed it.”