Stayner shows sheep one last time
She's not going to leave animals behind
By Jean Caspers-Simmet
DES MOINES -- This is April Stayner's last year showing FFA sheep at the Iowa State Fair. The 21-year-old member of the Northwood-Kensett FFA Chapter is finishing up her FFA career.
Stayner, a recent graduate of North Iowa Area Community College in mechanical design, also showed sheep throughout her 4-H years.
Stayner said she did OK in the market lamb show with her Suffolks, but really excelled with her Dorsets in the purebred show.
She had reserve champion spring ram, reserve champion spring ewe, reserve champion pair of ewes and five purples in the other classes.
"I was very happy with how I did,'' Stayner said. "I've really enjoyed showing sheep. I've met a lot of friends. While I'm probably not going to show anymore, I'll keep sheep forever. They're so friendly, cute and lovable.''
Stayner has been showing at the Iowa State Fair for nine years and has collected her share of ribbons and trophies.
This year, she brought 12 Suffolks and Dorsets. Her father, Grayling, and her mother, Marilyn, helped her.
"We make it a family outing,'' Grayling said.
"I wouldn't be here without the help of my parents,'' Stayner said.
Stayner's parents have a flock of 200 sheep, half purebred and half commercial, and also raise corn and beans.
Grayling said that sheep prices are certainly not what they could be right now.
"This global economy has really whacked us,'' he said.
Stayner has learned a lot through her involvement in FFA at Northwood-Kensett. She is concerned that the school board is looking at cutting the vocational agriculture and FFA program.
"We have a huge FFA chapter,'' Stayner said. "We do a lot of things in the community like planting trees, organizing a pedal pull, fruit sales and livestock weigh-ins. Our advisor Marty Cotter organizes a co-op for the barrow show every year and lets FFAers keep the hogs on his farm. Enrollment is declining at the school, but FFA is increasing.''