09/25/05 — Lintons are fair veterans

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Lintons are fair veterans

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 25, 2005 2:05 AM


News-Argus Staff Writer

A Grantham sister and brother have parlayed their interest in animals into an award-winning activity, participating in livestock judging events at local and state fairs.

Marisa Linton, 12, and brother Alec, 9, became active in 4-H several years ago when the family moved out into the country to live closer to relatives.

The children of A.J. and Suzanne Linton have participated in the Wayne County Fair for about six years, Mrs. Linton said.

"Alec was 3 when he entered some of his artwork," she recalled.

Since then, the siblings have entered vegetables they have grown, baked goods, and clothes they have sewn.

"We just started when they were young," said Mrs. Linton, who was also active in 4-H as a child. "They enjoyed going, seeing their things on display, getting ribbons."

Marisa said it began as a fun activity, a way to see her friends as well as a learning experience. Her first efforts were crafts. Sometimes she won, sometimes she didn't, she said.

"It was fun just to see my art displayed on the wall," she said.

The interest in animal competition was a natural progression, she said.
"We always had cats and dogs," she said. "We got livestock when we moved out to the country."

The family now has horses, donkeys, chickens and goats, in addition to the dogs and cats and gerbils.

Marisa and Alec have won an array of awards at the local and state fairs, and participate in the "goat circuit," traveling to compete and being rewarded in such categories as meat quality and showmanship.

Marisa said competition has helped her develop more responsibility as she has worked to get herself and the animals ready for the events.

"It also helps me to be a better sport, if I lose or if I win," she said. "It's fun to just show your goat or be with your goat or animal and to know that you have done your best and have that feeling that you have done good and that you can do better next time if you lose."

Alec said he has enjoyed creating artwork and winning awards for birdhouses that he has made. He keeps the ribbons and trophies in his room or on display in the family's barn.

He said he especially likes preparing for the competitions.

"I make the goat's horns shiny and groom it," he said.

Mostly, though, he said, "I enjoy doing this so I can learn more stuff and meet new friends."