To many 4-H participants, the fair is the Super Bowl. Their time to shine. The chance to earn championships and see their hard work pay oﬀ .
What about those that aren’t in 4-H or the ones that can’t be? That is where open class comes into play.
Open class gives those that aren’t of the proper age to be in 4-H a chance to showcase their talents in various ﬁ elds. Many open class entrants come in the horticulture, welding and other display categories. However, there are still a few each year that prefer to exhibit their showmanship abilities in the animal events, such as the case of Bonnie Seboe of Tilden.
Seboe took part in the rabbit competition at this year’s Antelope County Fair. It was her ﬁrst time taking part in the event and she had a very simple reason for wanting to do it.
“Because I got the rabbit and it’s so cute and I decided I wanted to show him,” she said matter-of-factly.
When she decided it was her desire to show oﬀ her cute companion, she looked into the open class at the fair. Open class gives everyone a chance to compete that doesn’t meet the 4-H requisite of ages ﬁve through 18. Seboe, who is now in her 70s, decided it would be the proper opportunity to show oﬀ her rabbit.
“Most of the time you don’t get anyone much under ﬁ ve because they are too small to do the projects,” explained Alice Morrison, chairperson for open class. “We get people as high as 89 bringing stuﬀ in.”
The fact that few people, such as Seboe, participate in the showing events is an added joy for the fair.
“We maybe get three or four people a year,” Morrison said. “It’s nice for the younger kids especially to take and be able to show their own calf and not have to be in 4-H.”
While the participant list wasn’t quite as large in the open class as it was in the 4-H competition, that didn’t make the event any less exciting or nerve-wracking for Seboe.
“I don’t know, I just was nervous,” she explained.
The fair wasn’t Seboe’s ﬁrst attempt at showing. She participated in 4-H as a young kid in Madison County, but then lost contact with the group as her kids and grand kids didn’t participate themselves. She explained this year’s event as one more hurrah.
“It’s like my second childhood,” she said with a smile.
Fans were treated to one final show at the grandstands of Riverside Park in Neligh on the final day of the Antelope County Fair.
The Truck and Tractor Pull was a success as the competitors tore down the track, seeing how far they could lug the weighted trailer for the chance to show off their horsepower.
Antelope County Fair's newest event was a fun way to end the 2017 fair.
The Round-Robin Roping wrapped up the fair on Sunday evening as 40 competitors battled it out to show their roping skills with random partners. Competitors were split into groups - 6's and 3's - based on skill level, with each group having 10 headers and 10 heelers. Each header took a turn with each heeler, with both looking to finish the day with the best times.
In the 6's division, Gene Daniel earned the rank of top header while Chris Gaile was the top heeler. In the 3's, Kevin Rudloff took the honor of top header while Clay Holtz finished as the top heeler. The fastest single time of the day went to the duo of Jake Kavenaugh and Todd Hoberman in the 6's, who recorded a time of 6.04. In the 3's, the top time went to Jake Moeten and Holtz at 7.83.
A longtime supporter of the Antelope County Fair was honored with the 2nd annual Jolene Mosel Helping Hand Award.
Karen Kinney of Elgin, who is co-superintendent of the clothing division, was presented the award on Sunday afternoon.
Tessa Hain, 4-H Youth Development Coordinator, said the award is given annually to an outstanding individual who may be a parent or a volunteer who works to make the fair season exceptional.
The annual antique tractor parade brought smiles Saturday afternoon during the Antelope County Fair.
The tractors first paraded through Neligh in the afternoon, including by Pioneer Homes, The Willows Assisted Living and Neligh Care & Rehab. The tractors then paraded through Riverside Park during the annual Neligh Chamber of Commerce BBQ.
The annual Neligh Chamber of Commerce BBQ during the Antelope County Fair served well over 1,000 people on Saturday afternoon.
Barbecue chairs Jill Kallhoff and Lauren Sheridan-Simonsen said the event drew a steady stream of people through Riverside Park. The barbecue began at 4:30 p.m. with food served until nearly 7 p.m.
Nearly 50 Chamber members volunteered their time to cut meat, serve food and clean up following the event.
The barbecue was free-will offering with funds going toward various Chamber projects, including the implementation of a new business loan program.
Antelope County recognized the Baum Family with the Nebraska Pioneer Farm on Saturday evening.
For over a half century, AKSARBEN Foundation has teamed with the Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers to present the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Award, recognizing our farm families who have consecutively held ownership of land in the same family for at least 100 years or more.
Due to the longevity of land ownership and the strong rural roots, the Heritage Farm Award was created to recognize Nebraska farm families who have consecutively held ownership of land within the same family for 150 years.
Awards are presented at the county fair in which the land is located. The farm's family is given a commemorative plaque and gatepost marker. The two organizations that make this possible are:
Established in 1895, ASKARBEN Foundation represents the premier employers in Nebraska and western Iowa. AKSARBEN Foundation works as a unified network to influence change for the betterment of youth, the economy and Heartland communities. We advance our mission to leverage collective business leadership to build a more prosperous Heartland by funding needsbased scholarship programs, promoting the Heartland's cultural heritage through top-ranking community celebrations, and honoring community leaders who carry on the Heartland's tradition of philanthropy and volunteerism.
Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation:
Nebraska Farm Bureau is proud to help sponsor the 2017 Pioneer and Heritage Farm Awards. As Nebraska Farm Bureau celebrates its Centennial year, we share in the pride of those reaching a milestone of 100 and 150 years of land ownership by one family. Nebraska Farm
Bureau's heritage and continuous mission is to serve Nebraska farm and ranch families, and these awards recognize the commitment to preserve and build Nebraska Agriculture for future generations," Steve Nelson, president Nebraska Farm Bureau said.
The Large Animal Round Robin gave the Senior Showmanship Champions in Sheep, Goats, Horses, Beef, Swine and Dairy a chance to show off their skills showing other large animals.
Champion title went to Allee Snider.
The competitors and their winning titles were:
Haley Zegers - Champion in Beef
Trevin Hanson - Champion in Swine
Brianna Fry - Champion in Dairy
Travis Rudloff - Champion in Goats
Alison Stineman - Champion in Sheep and Horses
Allee Snider - Reserve Champion in Sheep (took the place of Sheep Champion for Alison Stineman)
Not only were there huge numbers of 4-H bucket calf entries, there huge numbers of Clover Kids and Open Class bucket calf entries.
While showing the calves to the judge, kids answered questions like "What's your favorite part of showing a bucket calf?", "What is the calf's name?" and "Where did you get this calf from?"
Check out some of our favorite photos below.