Gaston and Skow compete with the midwest’s best at AKSARBEN

| 10/18/2016 |

Greg Gaston won the Aksarben Lamb Challenge at the 2016 Aksarben Stock Show and Rodeo. Gaston, with his lamb Dunlap, also won the showmanship portion of the event. (Courtesy Photo)
Greg Gaston won the Aksarben Lamb Challenge at the 2016 Aksarben Stock Show and Rodeo. Gaston, with his lamb Dunlap, also won the showmanship portion of the event. (Courtesy Photo)

By Diane Stamm

The Wauneta Breeze

Wauneta-Palisade students and FFA members Greg Gaston and Reagan Skow took part in the Aksarben Stock Show & Rodeo held Sept. 22 to 25 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

The event the nation’s largest 4H stock show, drawing around 1,200 exhibitors from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Gaston, who had his lamb Dunlap since April, won the Lamb Challenge. He had applied for the project last year at Aksarben and traveled to Dunlap, Iowa to accept the lamb.

Through the spring and summer, Gaston fed and trained Dunlap and showed him at the county and state fair.

At Aksarben the pair were first in showmanship and fifth in live placing. Combined with Gaston’s record book, sponsor interaction and rate of gain, the duo finished with 95 out of a possible 100 points.

Gaston joined the 29 other winners from the livestock shows, including sheep, pigs, goats, chickens and beef, to take part in the Purple Ribbon Auction.

The 4-H members had a chance to socialize with the buyers before the auction began. Dunlap was purchased by the Kiewitt Corporation for $5,000 and donated to Kansas State University to be used in its livestock labs.

Pam Gaston said all the lambs from the challenge were sent to the university along with their records. There, KSU students will evaluate the data and study the lambs in areas such as rate of gain.

The KSU livestock judging team will also use the lambs for practice.

It was the WP senior’s seventh year showing at Aksarben.

Skow, a junior, took part in the Livestock Judging Contest and showed a 4-H Market Steer.

The Perkins-Chase County 4-H Livestock Judging team, made up of Skow, Regan Gittlein, Brady Gittlein and Tanner Burge, was Third High Team in the swine division of the contest.

The group met each other at various events and have been judging as a team for the last several years, according to Skow’s mom, Tiffany Stoller.

The team, which is made up of 4-H members from Hitchcock, Chase and Perkins Counties and is coached by Jay Nordhausen, qualified to compete at Aksarben after placing second overall at the PASE Contest in June. It has also qualified to compete at the American Royal Livestock Judging Contest in Kansas City on Oct. 27.

Skow finished fifth out of 16 competitors with her market steer. Though she didn’t show the steer a county fair, it did place third at the Nebraska State Fair.

Stoller said there was stiff competition at both the state fair and Aksarben, with many high quality steers in the classes.