Mupu 4-H livestock owners thrilled with Fillmore FFA Showmanship wins
By Tom Becher, Special to the Santa Paula Times
Santa Paula News
Published: August 02, 2013
Several young livestock owners from Santa Paula distinguished themselves recently at the Fillmore FFA Showmanship Day, Saturday, July 20.
Mupu 4-H members Rebecca Reeder (13), Sarah Nava (13) and Meghan Campbell (10) participated in the competitions hosted at the farm. Six Independent livestock owners who are affiliated with Mupu 4-H - siblings Tom, Zoë, and Roman Becher (16, 14, 12), Abby and Joe Hidley (16, 13) as well as Charlie Coughlin (14) - also attended the event.
All raise their animals under the direction and mentoring of Jimmy-Lou Caezza and Brittany Nelson.
Caezza has been leading the Mupu 4-H lamb project for more than 30 years and several of her club members have done very well.
Nelson has raised several lambs herself, winning Grand Champion and Reserve 4-H Grand Champion lamb at the Ventura County Fair.
Under Caezza’s and Nelson’s guidance, several of these young livestock owners won awards in the competition at the Fillmore FFA school farm.
Nava and Coughlin, each raising a lamb for the first time, placed well in the novice competition. Nava won second place, with Coughlin close behind in fourth.
Mupu 4-H shone the most, however, in its Junior Division. Reeder took third place and Joe Hidley amazed everyone by placing first in his division.
Hidley is only 65 pounds but he owns the heaviest lamb in the club, almost 160 pounds. Hidley has worked hard to train his lamb, and needless to say, he was knocked around quite a bit in the process. But he kept with it. Hidley’s training and perseverance paid off on Saturday; he went home the happy owner of a Blue Ribbon and a large silver belt buckle.
Caezza was delighted with Hidley’s performance. Having seen him struggle with training the large lamb, she had been concerned about the size difference between the lamb and its owner.
Commenting afterward on Hidley’s placement, Caezza said, “By taking first in the junior group, Joe proved he could do what I’ve known he could do.”
Hidley’s older sister, Abby, placed third out of sixteen in the Senior Division, a very competitive group.
Caezza and Nelson, not to mention the young livestock owners themselves, were thrilled with the results of the FFA competition.
Caezza said afterward that it had been “one of the happier days” of her life.
Both Caezza and Nelson look forward to taking these young livestock owners to the Ventura County Fair on August 5 to participate in the market and showmanship events.
On August 6, all the lambs will be professionally compared and judged to determine the quality of the lambs’ meat, and their placement in the livestock auction, which takes place on August 9. On August 10, the owners’ ability to show their lambs will be judged.
The young livestock owners from Santa Paula are eager to get their lambs to the fair so they can demonstrate to all how well they have benefited from Caezza and Nelson’s coaching.