Livestock Judges at the Tulsa State Fair Keep Their Champions Secret Until Night of ChampionsWed, 06 Oct 2021 16:06:34 CDT
Tulsa State Fair staff are gearing up to kick off the first-ever Night of Champions, tonight. The new event is shaking things up in Tulsa, making the crowning of grand champion and reserve grand champion animals more exciting for exhibitors, donors and onlookers.
Recently Ron Hays, director of farm and ranch programming of Radio Oklahoma Ag Network, got a sneak peek of what tonight will bring from Brandi Herndon, agribusiness manager for the Expo Square in Tulsa. Catch up on that conversation here.
Today, KC Sheperd, associate director for RON, is your boots on the ground. She interviewed Market Steer Judge Amanda Schnoor outside the show ring, right after she chose the grand champion and reserve grand champion steers of the 2021 Tulsa State Fair. In a break from tradition, no animal was crowned grand champion or reserve grand champion during the final round of shows.
"I will be honest with you, I am struggling with it," Schnoor said.
This year, Herndon and Tulsa State Fair Ringmasters decided to transform the traditional livestock auction, which was already a production in itself, into a dazzling production to honor the efforts of Oklahoma youth and the donors who make it all happen.
As 150 Oklahoma 4-H and FFA youth take the stage, Schnoor and the other market animal judges will crown each grand champion and reserve grand champion of the fair, kicking off the recognition at the same time. Until then, Schnoor and the other judges must keep their lips sealed!
"I understand why we are doing it, but I think those cattle are going to go back and change a lot," Schnoor said. "I told them, 'we might be changing the opinion tonight because those kids are going to go back to their stalls and they are not going to give up - that champion ribbon.'"
Schnoor said the Tulsa State Fair is the fourth state fair she has judged this year and Oklahoma show cattle never disappoint her.
"They have done their homework," Schnoor said. "They knew what do bring me, so it was fun to see."
Schnoor said the work ethic youth develop and the taste of healthy competition 4-H and FFA projects like show animals offer children will help them navigate adversity for the rest of their life.
Hit the LISTEN BAR below to hear KC's conversation with Amanda Schnoor ahead of the Night of Champions.
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