Ava Hasting Wins Class at the Hillsborough County Fair

Durant+sophomore+Ava+Hasting+and+her+steer+Stanley

Ava Hasting

Durant sophomore Ava Hasting and her steer Stanley

Allie Sigl

The Hillsborough County Fair is an annual community event held in October attended by over 25,000 people. The fair was created in 1990 to become a “celebration of community, agriculture, education, and exhibits.”

During the fair, one of the most popular events is the livestock showcase, where participants show their animals in front of an audience and judges.

Ava Hasting, a sophomore at Durant High School, won first place in her class at the fair with her steer Stanley.

“The classes at the fair are based off the steer’s age,” Hasting said. “The judge judges the bone structure [and other aspects], based on [the] desirable qualities wanted in a steer.”

After being judged, the steers are then positioned from first to last place. Each class’s winners are then entered in the final drive, where the judges choose an overall grand champion and overall reserve champion steer.

To prepare for the show, Hasting has worked with Stanley since June, spending thirty to forty minutes with him every day.

“Normally you want to feed, groom – by groom I mean brush his hair forward with a comb to train [it]-, wash it, and walk them,” Hasting said.

Before the festival, Hasting admits she gets a little nervous, but once she is in the ring, “it all goes away, and I automatically focus on showing.”

After a long day of showing, Hasting was declared the winner of her class.

“I felt so relieved to accomplish my goal,” Hasting said once she won.

At Durant, Hasting is a part of the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization, whose goal is to “develop competent and assertive agricultural leadership.”

“I love the organization,” Hasting said. “The people make it such an amazing organization.”

One of Hasting’s favorite things about working with the animals is the responsibility and skills obtained.

Although Hasting plans on becoming a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer in the future, she still plans to continue participating in shows.

“I plan on doing a steer [for the show] every year until I graduate,” Hasting said.