Monday, August 6, 2012
Evan Wynne was — in part — named after Galesburg High School girls basketball coach Evan Massey.
“Coach Massey’s first name was what you might call part of the inspiration,” said Evan Wynne’s mother, Michelle, as she stood surrounded by barrow hogs Thursday afternoon.
The barrow shows were in full swing at the 162nd Annual Knox County Fair. Huge hogs and the kids who raised them moved between stalls and the show ring in a rag-tag kind of procession that — according to parents and the kids competing — served as testament to the enduring values instilled in the children and teens who raise livestock.
Brown-eyed and wearing a bright red shirt, the kid partially named after one of the most successful coaches in the history of the state revealed some of his own personality when he confirmed he names his pigs. Ten-year-old Evan said he called one of his barrows “Charles” because of the way the animal looked.
“He kind of looked like one of those old men you see,” Evan said. “Kind of serious and he looked like he had a little beard. To me, he just looked like a Charles.”
“My favorite part of all of it is showing the pigs,” Evan explained. “I like going to fairs and showing them. It’s the really fun part of it.”
John added some more explanation.
“I think Evan really likes being here because he gets to be around older kids and he’s doing the same thing as they are,” he said. “That’s kind of a big deal for him. Also, he is very competitive. I think Evan really likes the competitive aspect of the shows.”
The Wynnes started Evan with barrows because they are easier for the young boy to handle. Eventually, like older brother Gary, he will graduate to cattle. Above the shows and any awards, the Wynnes said raising livestock offers valuable lessons for kids.
“This is an activity that we can do as a family,” Michelle said. “All three kids play sports, but this is something we all do together. That’s really valuable when the kids do so many things on their own.”
John said raising livestock instills responsibility and patience.
“You have to feed and water your animals. They depend on you for their lives,” he said. “And it is something that doesn’t produce immediate gratification. This is something they start in March or April and it ends in August — a kid has to be patient and work at
Beth DeSchepper echoed the Wynnes’s sentiments. All three of her children have grown up in Altona showing livestock. Fourteen-year-old Andrew showed barrows Thursday, 18-year-old Emily shows goats and 19-year-old Sarah is in her last year showing market lambs.
“My kids have learned a lot about themselves,” Beth said. “All three of them, in one way or another, have taken on leadership roles and do a lot to help other kids. They are very involved with 4-H and FFA.”
Like Evan Wynne, Andrew said he loves showing his work.
“I’ve been doing this since I was 4 years old,” he said. “I love coming to fair because I see all the kids I know and we can do a lot of stuff. It’s fun to be with friends and feel like you’ve accomplished something.”
The ritual of the county and state fairs is something Sarah said she will miss.
“This is my last year. It’s the 12th year I’ve shown animals,” said the 19-year-old, who attends Black Hawk East Community College. “There are so many leadership opportunities and it has all been so much fun.
“I’ll always come back to the fair and try to help kids. I’ll miss being in the show ring, but I’ll also miss all the things you have to do to get there.
“You do your chores every morning and every night. You learn how to be successful and accomplish goals. You learn so much about yourself and other people. Raising animals is a great experience.”
Posted by Massey Basketball