DARKE COUNTY - Olivia McDade is only an incoming junior at Greenville High School, but she’s already checked one of her dreams off of her list by winning Reserve Grand Champion for her market wether goat at the Ohio State Fair.
Olivia, like her parents, James and Denise McDade, grew up around livestock, and she and her two older sisters have shown livestock most of their lives, she said.
“I’ve been showing since I was 4,” McDade shared. “Livestock is sort of my passion, so I’ve never played sports…my theory is, you either show livestock or play sports. I show livestock.”
A member of the Greenville FFA, McDade said that showing livestock can be challenging, but rewarding.
“It’s a lot of hard work, it requires a strong work ethic,” McDade stated. “Learning to show, and building showmanship ability, it’s very difficult for young kids to progress, and it’s definitely a learning experience.”
McDade’s Reserve Grand Champion market wether goat was her project through the Greenville FFA, she said; weighing in at only 77 pounds, she didn’t think she had a shot, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that she had won Reserve Grand Champion.
She’s won a lot of awards since she began showing at age 4, she said, and she’s excited to be able to pass on what she’s learned to new generations.
“It’s a treat knowing I have the knowledge and talent to help the younger kids,” McDade commented. “I have friends all over that I talk to, and meet up with at shows. That’s one of the best parts of showing, being with my friends and family. My nieces and nephews are starting to get into showing, so it’s great to pass on the traditions.”
McDade entered eight lambs and two goats into the Great Darke County Fair, she said. She is a member of the Darke County Sheep and Lamb 4-H Club, and plans to attend a 4-year college to pursue a career in animal science or pharmacology. McDade said she also hopes to have a career working directly with livestock in the future, as well.