A Grand Champion on wheels
Schimke’s lamb earns top award
By Greg Seubert
Anessa Schimke wasn’t sure what to expect at this year’s Waupaca County Fair.
She certainly didn’t plan on returning home with a Grand Championship trophy.
That’s exactly what she did Aug. 24 on the second day of the fair, which will wrap up its annual five-day run Aug. 27 in Weyauwega.
Her Suffolk breed lamb took top honors during the sheep judging competition. The lamb, which was born this spring, came from Loehrke Farms of Pine River. The farms’ owner, Randy Loehrke, is president of the Waupaca County Fair Board and was on hand for the judging.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” she said.
While other winners walked around the Waupaca County Fairgrounds showing off their trophies to family and friends, Schimke did not. The 14-year-old, who will soon return to Little Wolf Junior/Senior High School as an eighth-grader, made the rounds in a wheelchair, since she does not have legs or hands.
“It’s awesome,” Schimke’s mother, Mindy, said. “Everybody’s really happy for her. There were lots of pictures taken. If you can put your mind to it, you can accomplish it.”
While other participants that showed dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, rabbits, dogs, cats, horses and ponies at this year’s fair are members of local 4-H or FFA chapters, Schimke showed on behalf of the Wisconsin Junior Suffolk Sheep Association.
“There are meetings throughout the year and they teach the kids how to raise the lamb,” Mindy said.
Anessa had plenty of help to get ready for the fair, including the Loehrke family.
“We bring a lot of animals here,” Brian Loehrke said. “Steers, lambs, we’ve done it all. It’s for the kids and giving back to the fair.”
Anessa learned a lot while exhibiting another lamb for the first time at least year’s fair.
“When my lamb wouldn’t keep his head still this year, I put my hand underneath his chin in a certain spot,” she said.
Suffolk are a black-faced breed of domestic sheep raised primarily for meat.
Now that Anessa’s second county fair is in the books, she’s already looking forward to 2018.
“I’ll probably come back with another sheep,” she said.