Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

A family affair

Anderson sisters tackle Henry County Fair together
Jul 17, 2017
Photo by: Karyn Spory The Henry County Fair is a famly affair for the Anderson sisters. Anna, 12, left, and her sister Maddie, 14, right. The two don’t let their sibling riverly get the best of them in the show ring as they know they are each other’s greatest cheerleaders.

By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News

 

“Anderson, begin making your way to the arena,” the announcer says as his voice booms over the loudspeaker. The two blonde Anderson sisters — Maddie, 14, and Anna, 12 — look at each other. “Maddie Anderson, begin making your way to the arena,” the announcer clarifies.

Maddie smiles at her sister and their friends, who have congregated outside of the beef barn.

Like many families, showing livestock at the Henry County Fair is a family affair for the Anderson sisters.

“Our whole family is here,” said Maddie. “We get a lot of support from them.”

Although, deep down the sisters are supportive of each other, there is an element of competition between them.

“We try to see who wins,” admitted Anna. “She won last time.”

The last time the sisters were in the arena together, it was the Angus heifer division. Maddie snagged second and Anna brought home third place. Something Maddie won’t soon let her little sister forget.

But more than a place to stoke the embers of sibling rivarly, the fair is also where the sisters to bond, hang out with friends and learn responsibility.

The sisters, who both belong to the Jefferson Juniors, said one of their favorite parts of being in 4-H and showing at the fair is getting to make and hang out with friends they might otherwise not know.

“We get to hang out with friends that we only get to see once in awhile,” Maddie said.

Being the oldest, Maddie was the first to participate in 4-H. “I started in first grade,” she said. Her sister Anna followed in her footsteps two years later.

The bulk of the sister’s fair experience isn’t spent with friends, instead it’s spent tending to their livestock.

The sisters admit that getting ready for the fair can be a time commitment.

“You have to wash the calf a lot,” said Maddie. “You have to help with chores, feed them special stuff and you have to start walking with them.”

The sisters begin practicing with their calves in March. As for how they pick which calf they’ll take to fair, Anna said it’s a matter of knowing your herd and knowing what to look for.

“It just depends on how good they look when they’re young,” she said.

Maddie, however, said sometimes it takes more than just a good first impression to decide which calf to invest time and resources in. “Sometimes they don’t always look the best when they’re young, but they get better and vice versa,” she explained.

It’s not just cattle the sisters are showing, each Anderson girl has her own category she’s trying to make a name in.

“I also show sheep,” said Maddie.

“And I show pigs,” adds Anna.

No matter the category, or who goes home with the most ribbons, the sisters know deep down they have each other’s backs.

“We do it for the fun of it,” said Anna of why she and her sister participate in the fair.

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