MONTPELIER — It was the first time Jacquelyn Wagner participated in the 4-H Showmanship Sweepstakes, but she still took home the prize clock.

Wagner, who has been in 4-H for 10 or 11 years, said winning the sweepstakes was something she’s wanted for some time, but had never been able to qualify for. This year, she qualified twice, for both poultry and rabbits.

She ultimately decided to represent poultry in the sweepstakes.

“I’m really surprised,” she said of her victory.

Like everything else at the fair — or the rest of life — the contest looked vastly different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the eight contestants would normally show each animal (poultry, rabbits, horse, beef, goat, dairy, swine and sheep) in the arena and be graded on each, this year it was strictly knowledge-based.

It was broken up into two sections, the first was a written test and the second was more like trivia, where they got a white board to write down answers to different questions (such as “What is a pullet?” and “Do you remove a duck feet first from its cage?”) for points.

“It was different,” Wagner said. “I kind of wish I could have shown the other animals, but either way it was still pretty cool.”

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