INDIANAPOLIS — Morgan Tomson, a ten year 4-H member from Decatur County, capped her career in the best way possible, by taking home the Indiana State Fair Supreme Livestock Showman title August 10.
Tomson, who was awarded the Indiana FFA’s top honor, the State Star Farmer, at the state FFA convention in June, has been working with cattle her entire life and raising her own since age seven. Competing in showmanship contests is nothing new to her, but winning an award of such distinction is a unique experience.
Morgan qualified for the supreme showmanship competition after being declared the champion of the beef showmanship. For the supreme contest, Tomson had to drive three animals- swine, cattle and sheep, all of which she’d never worked with before.
Tomson said the sheep was a little uncooperative, made more so by the fact that she is very unfamiliar with that animal. The pig that she drove in the supreme contest was one of the display pigs at the state fair and had never been shown before. This made showing especially difficult for Tomson because the pig was completely unfamiliar with the reactions she required of it. She was extremely experienced with cattle showmanship and encountered no difficulties, even with an animal she’d never worked with prior to the competition.
It is possible for someone to win a showmanship competition even without a cooperative animal, as the contest judges the person’s composure and focus on presentation rather than the animal itself. Tomson won the champion title in the senior showman competition at the state fair last year, making her win this year all the more special because it’s been a long while since the same person won senior showman two years in a row.
“It was really an honor to win senior showman, and now I’ve won it two years in a row. That hasn’t happened for a long time. So it was really cool for me. When you go up for senior showman, everyone is really good. There isn’t a bad showman out there, especially at the state level,” Tomson said.