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Practice makes perfect at the 4-H fair

If practice makes perfect, 9-year-old Kara Killelea should be pretty well prepared by the time she gets to show her sheep Friday at the La Salle County 4-H Fair.

Her father Joe said they wanted her showing the sheep this year because it's a good way to build a work ethic and sense of responsibility but Kara wanted to show them off for other reasons.

"I like to sheer the sheep,"said Kara, of Fox River 4-H in Ottawa. "They all have their own names, too. I name all the animals."

Kara will be showing three sheep during Friday's show and she's counting on good performances from Macy, Alexa and Stuart.

"My mom named Stuart," Kara said. "It's an OK name but we named him after the minion (from "Despicable Me")."

Kara also named her cows Bob and Kevin but they aren't participating in the festivities.

Joe said the sheep are judged on body shape, muscle and leanness as well as how well they're sheered.

"We've been raising sheep on a farm for about 10 years now and we thought now was a good time to get her into it," Joe said.

The 4-H Sheep Showing takes place 1 p.m. Friday

Early planter gets the ribbon

Sixteen-year-old Preston Walter, of Ottawa, has been driving a tractor since he was 10 and he started planting when he was 9, so perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise his corn and soybean won first prize.

"I was one of the lucky ones that got to plant early this year," Walter said, whose corn crop was planted on April 23. "I'm glad we got it done in time."

Walter has won the horticulture contest each of the last four years but he said the growing season this year has been different than he's used to.

"I try to keep the same approach every year and I do a lot of work on the farm," Walter said. "I wasn't surprised this crop turned out."

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