The Vermont delegation included Jarod Bushey, Addison; Charlotte and Rebecca Moriarty, both from Jericho; and Riley Ochs, Orwell. They participated in the sheep show as well as comprised the four-member Vermont quiz bowl team that captured first place in competition.
The 4-H’ers also competed in sheep blocking and fitting contests. In the latter, two-person teams are assigned a sheep at random and have an hour to clip and groom the animal for judging. In the Intermediate Division (ages 14-15) Rebecca Moriarty and Riley Ochs came in second. Charlotte Moriarty teamed up with Rhode Island 4-H’er Caleb Cranston to take third. Jarod Bushey and New Hampshire 4-H’er Lauren Tyler came in fourth in the Senior Division (ages 16-18).
Each state created an educational tabletop exhibit to inform and educate the public about sheep. Vermont’s exhibit, Wool vs. Meat Breeds, placed second. In addition, every delegation set up a display about their state in their sheep pen area. In this contest, Vermont placed fourth.
Riley Ochs received the Individual Shepherd Award for Vermont, presented to one delegate from each state who epitomizes what 4-H stands for through teamwork and commitment to the 4-H sheep project. Each state delegation selects its recipient by secret ballot.
In the fitting and showmanship competition, arranged according to the exhibitor’s age, the 4-H’ers were judged on how well they presented their animal in the show ring and the animal’s overall appearance based on standards set for each specific breed of sheep.
In Senior Showmanship — wool breeds, Jarod Bushey placed third. In Intermediate Showmanship — Wool Breeds, Riley Ochs placed second and Charlotte Moriarty, fifth. Rebecca Moriarty was first in Intermediate Showmanship — Meat Breeds and captured the Intermediate Showman Championship title.
The 4-H’ers also competed in conformation classes, which are arranged by breed and age of the ram, ewe or lamb. The animals are evaluated on how well they conform to the standards for the specific meat or wool breed.
The Vermonters earned the following championships and awards in conformation classes:
- Jarod Bushey: His Romney yearling ram placed first in its class and was named Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Ram. In Other Breeds — Wool both his junior ram lamb and yearling ram took first in their classes with his ram lamb winning Champion Ram and Champion Bred and Owned Ram and his yearling ram, Reserve Champion Ram and Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Ram. His yearling ewe came in second and also was named Reserve Champion Ewe and Champion Bred and Owned Ewe.
- Charlotte Moriarty: Her Lincoln junior ewe lamb placed first in its class and was named Champion Ewe for the breed.
- Rebecca Moriarty: Rebecca earned several championship titles including Senior Champion Ewe for the Hampshire breed and Reserve Champion Ewe, Champion Bred and Owned Ewe and Best Fleece for Lincolns. Her Lincoln ewe also earned a “Best in Show” award for best fleeced animal. In the natural colored breed classes, her yearling ewe placed second and was named Reserve Champion Ewe and Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Ewe. Rebecca also earned firsts in the Senior Hampshire ewe lamb and Lincoln yearling ewe classes.
- Riley Ochs: Riley entered several Border Leicester sheep in competitions. Her yearling ram and junior ram lamb both finished first in their respective classes while her yearling ewe came in second in its class. In addition, her yearling ram was named the breed’s Champion Ram and Champion Bred and Owned Ram.
For more information about the 4-H sheep program in Vermont, contact Wendy Sorrell, University of Vermont Extension 4-H livestock educator, at firstname.lastname@example.org .