Walking away with ribbons at a 4-H competition is the goal for most kids, but for three kids from Palmer, it’s just the life they know.
Chad Samuelson, Chase Samuelson and Chet Wichmann have all been working with livestock since the days they can remember and were named the Grand Champions of the fitting contest at the Merrick County Fair.
“I’ve been showing since I was eight,” Chad said. “But I haven’t been fitting very long.”
Fitting, or grooming the cattle, is a competition that has teams of three groom their cattle to look the most presentable for the judge. Competitors may use all sorts of products, such as combs, hair sprays, and even little spray paint to make the cattle looks as best they can.
“We all enjoy fitting,” Chase said. “Chet and I have been around cattle since we were little.”
Despite this being the first competition as a team for these three, they all agreed they work well as a team.
“We haven’t always been a team,” Chad said. “But we work together pretty well as one. It feels pretty good to come away with the trophy.”
Chase said they attend different workshops that help them practice their fitting.
“We went to Stock Show U in Norfolk,” Chase said. “They travel around and teach people how to do fitting. It was a fun and interesting experience.”
Stock Show University is a free educational clinic open to all stock show youth and adults, compliments of Sullivan Supply. Their clinics range from hour long to in-depth two day clinics they call the “grad program” according to its website.
Each member of the Palmer team had a different favorite role, a different specialty if you will, in the fitting competition, which helps them work together.
“My favorite part would probably be working the back legs,” Chad said. For Wichmann the appeal is more primal. “Winning.”
The team came in with high expectations, but due to the fact it was their first time competing, they said they were not expecting to come away with the victory.
“We thought it’d be tough,” Chad said. “We thought there would be more teams coming into this and we thought it would be tougher too. But we did alright.”