Last week, eight Union County 4-H Senior Livestock Showmen pioneered the first Round Robin Showmanship contest without an animal in sight.

Nine-year 4-H member Hayden Schlichter won Union County’s first Round Robin Showmanship held in the 4-H Community Building and without the presence of animals.

This year’s contest was all on paper. The contestants sat at opposite ends of four large tables spaced all around the 4-H Building in keeping within social distancing guidelines.

Each superintendent prepared 10 questions and answers to be used in the 70-minute time limit.

“It was plenty of time. I think all of us finished before time was up,” Hayden said. “I’m just glad we got to do something, but I would rather show animals.”

As the dairy goats senior showman, Hayden competed with other senior showmen, including Charolette Plemons (horse & pony), Mason Stewart (swine), Whitney King (meat goats), Jorden Logue (sheep), Hailey Grimes (poultry), Dexter Schlichter (rabbits) and Payten Logue (beef).

The Round Robin contest requires a judge for each species. This year’s Round Robin was without a single judge. David and Diane Dudley served as facilitators.

Hayden is a three-time Round Robin Showmanship champion. His first win was as the senior swine showman. He was senior dairy goat showman when he won the second time. Once a member wins Round Robin, they may not enter the contest through the same species in which they previously won. They may, however, enter Round Robin with a different species.