Open Exhibitor Spotlight presented by Compeer Financial

The Open Livestock Exhibitor Spotlight, presented by Compeer Financial, features Wisconsin State Fair livestock exhibitors who have participated at Wisconsin State Fair for at least 10 years or more.

The Open Livestock Show is open to any person age 5 years or older.

See below for details on what these open exhibitors love about showing their animals and more!

Open Livestock Exhibitor Spotlight presented by Compeer Financial

Open Show Exhibitors

Randy and Mary Adamson
Milton, WI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
23 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Three

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Dairy Goats

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
We look forward to coming back to the Wisconsin State Fair every year because of the competition, and the camaraderie between the exhibitors. We enjoy spending the weekend with good friends, and also seeing the visitors who come through the barn. It’s a great way to help educate people on our State’s agricultural industry.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
We take great pride in our herd, and we’ve worked very hard over the years to improve our genetics. We really enjoy our animals and we spend a great amount of our time and energy caring for them, and making sure they are healthy and happy

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
The first year we exhibited our older children participated  in the Junior Dairy Goat show, and we had the champion junior doe, and the champion and reserve champion senior does. So, in the grand champion line up, all three animals were ours. That was quite a way to start! The first year we won Best Senior Doe in Show was also very special. In 2019 we had both Junior Best Doe in Show and  Senior Best Doe in Show. That was very exciting!

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Every year our grown children come to the Fair while we are there exhibiting. It’s a great time to get together and share memories of all of the years they were there with us. Our young grandchildren are now joining us in the showring while we are there.

Daniel Considine
Scandia, MN

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
64 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Three

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Dairy Goats

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
Starting in grade school, Wisconsin State Fair has been the event to set the calendar to every year. There is a special excitement in finally getting back to Wisconsin State Fair each year. In my first years it was rewarding to meet and compete with the top breeders of the time. Now the Open Dairy Goat Show has become a regional show. I now have a retirement breeding herd. With help from daughters and grandchildren, I hope to show another decade.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
Dairy goats were the basis of my career for over 50 years. My father Harvey, brothers Stephen and Tom showed many years. My daughters Ellen, Katy, Ana and Suzie continue to help with preparation and show ring handling. The experiences working, fitting and showing with brothers, sisters and daughters is really rewarding; especially when we put does in the ring at their very best. The challenge of breeding correct type milk goats, then feeding and managing them to be at their best in August drives me.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
My first doe Rosebud won Reserve Champion as a kid and Grand Champion a few times at Wisconsin State Fair. Rosebud was my pet as well as the genetic basis of my Toggenburg herd. The first time each daughter and grandchild shares a cream puff (many times with cream covered faces) are treasured memories!

Deakin Family Farms
Cuba, IL

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
I’m 26 and I can’t remember us NOT showing there. My dad showed Hampshires (sheep) years before that.

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
2 so far!

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Sheep

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
The friendships we’ve made in the Sheep Barn through the years, the cleanliness of the fairgrounds and the opportunity to answer the questions the general public asks about agriculture.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
They are well cared for and always have a balanced diet. Hay and grain is home-raised and fresh; clean water is always available. We often joke that our animals are taken care of as well as a member of the family.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
In 2019, we were honored to be inducted into the Wisconsin State Fair Sheep Barn Hall of Fame. Another major memory was winning the Supreme Champion Ram in 2011.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Dad’s favorite activity is riding the Skyglider. Growing up, siblings Colin and Tiffany loved the Giant Slide and especially the pig slide that was outside of the Sheep Barn. Now Tiffany’s favorite is the potato pancakes around the corner from the Sheep Barn.

Easter Brook – Don & Donna Damrow, Brenda (Damrow), Madison, Mackenszie and Macyn Gudex
Juneau, WI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
Approximately 60 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Four

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Dairy Cattle

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
Wisconsin State Fair serves as our “start” to the show season. It is a family tradition to show each year. We also love the interaction with the Fairgoers and the camaraderie with the other exhibitors.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
We love our Milking Shorthorns, but have exhibited Ayrshires and Jerseys in the past as well. Most of the animals we exhibit are homebred!

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
We have been honored to be a Herdsmanship winner since 1996, and were awarded the Chairman’s Award for Open Dairy. Our favorite memory is owning the Junior, Reserve and Honorable Mention Junior Champions in the same year!

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Visit with friends we see only a few times a year -even some Fairgoers come to see us each year! And of course, eat lots of fair food!

Elm Glen Farm
Endeavor, WI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
30 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
3

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Dairy Goats and Art

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
Family togetherness and friendly competition.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
They don’t eat cans and dairy goats are a smart choice for small farms.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
Winning Best in Show and topping all of my breed classes.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
We go to the Wisconsin Products Pavilion to eat.

Hay’s Berkshires
Warren, IL

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
Over 100 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Four

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Swine

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
We love to show hogs at Wisconsin State Fair and it has been a family tradition for over 100 years.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
The Hay family has raised Berkshire hogs on Flowerhill Farm in Warren, IL since 1901. We run a small sow herd between 5 to 10 sows every year. We have expanded our herd to include Yorkshire and Hampshire sows in the last 3 years.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
We have had many great experiences over the years and the most recent was when we showed the 2019 Champion Berkshire Gilt and she was also the Reserve Supreme Champion Gilt.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
We reconnect with other exhibitors, drink lemon shake ups and eat a bunch of cream puffs.

Alyssa Jaquith
Helenville, WI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
17 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Two

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Swine

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
I just love the energy you can feel when you come to Wisconsin State Fair! I enjoy seeing old friends, making new ones and conversing with and educating the Fairgoers.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
Each pig has its own personality, making them fun to raise and work with.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
I have lots! My most memorable ones are when my family and I won Grand Champion Spotted Sow in both 2012 and 2014 and receiving the Chairman’s Award for 5 years!

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Try at least one unique food item.

Dan Jones
Bangor, WI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
108 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Four

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Draft Horse and Dairy Cattle

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
It’s a great show that we love to attend, with classes multiple days and thousands of Fairgoers to interact with.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
It takes a lot of time and effort behind the scenes, breeding and raising our own horses, for us to make it to Wisconsin State Fair every year. Being inducted in the Clydesdale Breeders Hall of Fame at Wisconsin State Fair and celebrating our 100 year anniversary adds to the many memories we’ve made here.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
The year we won the 4 Horse Hitch with four homebred mares out-showing the gelding hitches.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Every morning for almost a whole week, our breakfast is omelettes from the Wisconsin Products Pavilion.

Gary Klug
Harlan, IA (former and future WI resident)

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
51 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
3 Generations

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Dairy Cattle, Poultry, Draft Horse, Sheep and Beef

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
It’s HOME!….one of the rhythms in my life. It’s a place to reconnect with longtime friends, some, I only see once a year…intangible value for family time. I could go on and on, but being in West Allis is in my soul.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
It’s a 365/7/24 passion.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
So many…most recent was being inducted into the Sheep Barn Hall of Fame.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Go to the Wisconsin Products Pavilion for food, walk through all the livestock barns and eat cream puffs.

Richard Krackow
Arcadia, WI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
55 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
1st Generation

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Sheep

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
I like the sheep show and activities regarding agriculture. I enjoy getting to see and visit my friends from different states who come to show.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
The genetics and general knowledge of the sheep industry.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
I have had several over the years; winning Champion never gets old.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Eat cream puffs!

Tim and Brenda Lobdell
Freeport, IL

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
15 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Two

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Sheep

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
Good competition, respected judges and exceptional show management. That, and cream puffs.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
We work hard on breeding, feeding and developing show animals for 360 days in preparation for five glorious days in West Allis.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
Our favorite memory is when the judge points at you to win the purple champion ribbon. We have been blessed with that memory on more than one occasion. But the most important memory is having our family together to share in the Wisconsin State Fair experience. Pictures from Wisconsin State Fair are among some of our favorites.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Ride the Skyglider. Eat cream puffs, baked potatoes and grilled cheese sandwiches. Watch the Fairgoers enjoy their time at Wisconsin State Fair.

John, Maria, Alexis and Jackson Meyer

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
10 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Two

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Draft Horse

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
We enjoy the family atmosphere among the exhibitors and enjoy allowing the public to experience the horses.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
Our draft horse mares perform at the show but at home are turned out to grass pastures and raise their babies during the off season of performing.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
Seeing my children exhibit for the first time in the Case IH Coliseum.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
An absolute must getting food from the Wisconsin Products Pavilion….and of course, eating the cream puffs!

Dr. Michael and Cheri Moleski
Bronson, MI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
35 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
3 Generations

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Draft Horse

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
We love Wisconsin State Fair, the food, the people and the overall cleanliness and hospitality. We have been competing against some of these exhibitors for 35 years and have developed deep and lasting friendships.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
We only show high quality home bred horses. During our 35 years we were named Premier Exhibitor 19 times. We also received the 2019 Chairman’s Award.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
The year the lights went out during the halter show. We were still in the old barn. Everyone was at our stalls, the transformer blew and we fed ham sandwiches.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Every year we hand crank homemade ice cream with all of our friends showing at Wisconsin State Fair.

Leslie, Jeff, Joell and Andy Nevens/A&J Nevens Livestock
Lodi, WI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
Over 75 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
At least 4, perhaps 5

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Sheep

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
Surprisingly, it’s not about the animals, but rather the people in the Sheep Barn, our friends in Milwaukee, the great camaraderie with friends and loved ones who we love spending time with and enjoying Wisconsin State Fair!

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
We exhibit Targhee sheep, an American breed of sheep known for both great meat and amazing wool that’s not itchy to the skin. They can withstand Wisconsin’s coldest winters and hottest summers!

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
Our family farm being honored with both the Wisconsin State Fair Century and Sesquicentennial awards.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
A social event in the Sheep Barn called “Targhee Alley.” The Wisconsin Targhee breeders host the yearly event after the open wool show is finished, celebrating our friendships in and out of the show ring.

Gary Reinke

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
58 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
1st Generation

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Beef Cattle

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
It’s a family tradition. The summer is not complete without Wisconsin State Fair.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
Our first ad in the July Polled Hereford World Herd Book said “Just a small herd so everyone has to be good!” WE have maintained that philosophy for 60 years in the business, striving to breed for a consistent level of quality and productivity across our entire herd.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
The musical group Alabama would always book their act on show day as Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry were Polled Hereford breeders and wanted to see the show.

Chris and Theresa Reysen
Adell, WI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
25 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
1st Generation

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Draft Horse

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
Friends and a great crowd to show in front of.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
We always try to present our horses in the very best light we can.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
2018 when we were inducted into the Wisconsin Draft Horse Breeders Hall of Fame.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
We make sure to visit as many of the food stands in the Wisconsin Products Pavilion as possible.

Mike and Tracy Taft
Springfield, IL

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
10 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Two

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Draft Horse

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
The Fair staff giving personal attention to the little details, such as: creating a stalling map, being greeted at the gate, move in help, security in the barn and even escorts to and from the Case IH Coliseum during the shows.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
Our entire family participates in showing horse. They are our passion and we love to educate/share our special breed with the public. Additionally, the Clydesdale breed family are friends first and competitors second.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
Our favorite memory is our daughter winning the showmanship class and how excited she was to get her picture taken in front of the (picture) banner and when Fair management takes time to come and say hello and sincerely say thank you for coming.

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Every year we strive to give back to the Fair by participating in the Groomsman competition as well as the Educational/Chairman’s competition. I have been fortunate enough to win these awards several times including both awards in 2019.

Steve Zimmerman
Milwaukee, WI

Number of Years Exhibiting at Wisconsin State Fair?
15 years

How many generations of your family have exhibited at Wisconsin State Fair?
Two

Department(s) Exhibited In?
Beef Cattle

What brings you back to Wisconsin State Fair Every Year?
Ever since around 1980 when I bought my first female heifers and was assistant herdsman for the late Earl and Bernice Milikin at Elm Charolais Farms in Hartford, Wisconsin State Fair was an annual event for me.

What would you like Fairgoers and fellow competitors to know about the animal(s) you exhibit?
The memories last for many years! Meeting new friends and spending with old friends the past 7 years has been amazing! We have since expanded to the Black Angus, Red Angus and Charolais breeds.

What is your favorite or most unforgettable Wisconsin State Fair memory?
2019! Winning the Chairman’s award and the Harvey Swartz Herdsman award that I have chased for all of my life topped it!

What is something you do every year at Wisconsin State Fair?
Eat, drink and be merry! Besides visiting with the Fairgoers and visiting with other exhibitors during the week, entertainment and the Exposition center is always a great time.