INDIANAPOLIS — To say that Caylee Bachelor had a great year at the Indiana State Fair might be a bit of an understatement, but nonetheless, that’s exactly what occurred.
Caylee, Orland, showing Jersey dairy cattle (for those of you who don’t know, Bachelor and Jersey are synonymous in Steuben County) took the Senior Showman honor for Jerseys at the State Fair 4-H competition then put the icing on the cake with the Grand Champion Showman honor for all dairy on Sunday.
“She’s a good showman, but it’s tough (at the State Fair),” said Caylee’s mother, Stacy Bachelor. Her father is Cory Bachelor. “She had a wonderful year.”
Dairy showmanship relies on knowledge of animal history, pedigree, general facts about dairy and the ability to excel in showing off an animal in the ring. Showmanship competitions require the 4-H member to compete against other 4-H’ers in their own knowledge and capabilities in the ring, with the animal taking an ancillary role.
After the overall showmanship competition, which is scored by the group of breed judges, it is not until the Supreme Drive in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum that the winner is announced, about an hour later.
It adds to the suspense and mystique of the award.
“That was quite the honor,” Stacy said. This came after Caylee received Reserve Grand Champion in Jersey.
There’s more good news. As Grand Champion Showman, Caylee received $500. Even if she did not win, she would have received $150 as a breed champion showman. There are six showmen in the competition, representing each breed.
Now, here’s the bad news: As Grand Champion Showman, Caylee will no longer be able to compete in showmanship at the State Fair level.
“It was kind of bittersweet. She was like, ‘Mom, I won, but I can’t do it anymore.’ You hate to give it up but she’s on cloud nine, that’s for sure,” Stacy said.
“Having won this award, Caylee is among a select group of showmen in Indiana and no longer will compete for this designation,” said Hans Schmitz of Purdue Extension. “Ms. Bachelor has won one of the top two most prestigious awards the Indiana State Fair 4-H Dairy Show offers.”
She’s not the first Bachelor to win this award, by the way. Grandfather Steve Bachelor won the award — in 1962!
Caylee is a seventh-year 4-H member. She has just started her sophomore year at Prairie Heights High School.