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Getting fair season started – Greene County

By Staff | Jul 17, 2009

Malarie Gilley, 17, of Grand Junction, poses with "Leroy." The 2009 Greene County Fair will be one that Gilley will remember as weighing in her cattle resulted in trip to the hospital with a broken arm.

JEFFERSON – One particular 4-H’er will most likely remember the 2009 Greene County Fair for years to come.

On July 8, Malarie Gilley, 17, of Grand Junction, was weighing-in her fair calves when a steer became startled and stepped on her heel. When she fell over, the calf ran her over, causing a hairline fracture in her arm.

“It made the fair kind of stinky, not as fun. I couldn’t show my calves,” said Gilley.

The wayward calf ended up going back to the Gilley family farm and sitting the rest of the fair out. Gilley’s remaining two calves were shown by her friends.

“My friends really stepped up,” she said. “Everyone’s been quite wonderful and concerned about me.”

James Exline of Jefferson (blue shirt) and Matt Schoon of Bayard face off during the Monster Arm Wrestling tournament at the Greene County Fair. Exline won the match.

Juanita Gilley, Malarie’s mother, added, “We found out people really care and they’ve stepped up and helped her out.”

Malarie Gilley said had she thought her calf was not ready for the fair, she would’ve left him home, and that she worked extra hard with him the days leading up to the fair.

Gilley acknowledged the situation could’ve been a lot worse. However, she not only missed out on showing her calves, but also missed out on her last game of the season with her softball team.

Now she said she is ready to put that all behind her and hopefully be ready for volleyball as she enters her senior year at East Greene High School in Jefferson.

Gilley is the president of the Junction Food Producers 4-H Club and credits her involvement in 4-H to helping her be prepared with sports and other school activities.

Clint Dennhardt, 8, of Rippey, climbs the fence to get rinsed off after his team, "The Diesels" won the Tug-of-War contest held Sunday at the Greene County Fair in Jefferson.

“4-H teaches me responsibility and that has given me a slight advantage in sports and school and with my education. It’s helped me be prepared,” Gilley said.

The Gilley family raise Simmental purebred cattle and also operate a grain farm near Grand Junction.

Last day notes

The last full day of the Greene County Fair in Jefferson could be described as muddy, greasy and tough as some of the events for the day included a tug-of-war contest, a greased-pig contest and an arm wrestling tournament.

Clint Dennhardt, 8, from Rippey, participated in the tug-of-war contest and said his team, The Diesels, took first place.

“We won the whole thing,” said Dennhardt. “It was cool and muddy. I dove in the hole.”

Dennhardt isn’t quite old enough to be involved in 4-H, but still enjoys attending the fair and plans to be in 4-H as soon as he is old enough.

“I hope to be in 4-H in a few years and I’ll show a pig and a cat,” said Dennhardt.

Probably just as tough, but a whole less muddy, was the Monster Arm Wrestling tournament that was also held Sunday.

“Mother Monster,” also known as Lee Ann Krough, has owned and operated Monster Arm Wrestling tournaments around Iowa and at the Iowa State Fair for over 28 years.

Krough, a four-time national arm wrestling champion, bought the southern section of the state’s tournament in 1980 and just a few years later, bought the entire business.

She said they hold tournaments at various county fairs, motorcycle rallies, bowling alleys, taverns and even post-prom parties.

Competitors that place first, second or third are eligible to enter in the championships at the Iowa State Fair.

Krough said there were approximately 13 signed up to arm wrestle at the Greene County Fair where she’s held tournaments several times in the past.

With just 13, she said. “it’s not big, but we have a fun crowd here.”

Matt Schoon, of Bayard, was defeated by James Exline, of Jefferson, in a light-weight (150-171 pound) right-handed match.

It wasn’t Exline’s first time to compete in an arm wrestling tournament.

“I haven’t competed in three years, so I decided to show up and do it today,” said Exline. “I used to love to do it and now I just take my trophies home to the kids.”

On the softer edge of the Greene County Fair, Carole Fisher, floriculture superintendent, was busy arranging entries to be picked up at the end of the day.

Fisher said this was her first year as superintendent, but has helped out in the past. She said the number of entries seemed to be up from last year.

“I was very, very pleased. Last year was kind of skimpy and numbers were up this year,” said Fisher.

The Greene County Fair was held July 7-13 and ended the last full day on Sunday with a performance by country music singer Jason Brown and fireworks.

Contact Kriss Nelson at jknelson@frontiernet.net.

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