CCF her road to recovery
By KRISS NELSON
SPENCER – For Cassidy Hanson, 18, of Linn Grove, the Clay County Fair has meant so much more to her than 10 days in September.
In fact, the love for the Clay County Fair put her on the road to recovery after a car accident three years ago.
“The fair is very special to me and it took on a whole new meaning in 2012,” Hanson said. “I was in an accident and was temporarily paralyzed.
“I made a goal that I was going to show my heifer at the Clay County Fair.”
After that goal was set, Hanson said her physical therapists got creative and her therapy was constructed around exercises to get her back into the show ring.
Hanson is in her first year at Iowa Lakes Community College, studying in the ag transfer program.
She plans to go on to Iowa State University and major in agricultural marketing and agricultural economics.
She graduated last spring from Sioux Central High School where she kept busy participating in volleyball, golf, choir, band and National Honor Society, all in addition to her 4-H and FFA activities.
Hanson has served as secretary and president of the Clay Raiders. 4-H Club, which she said gave her the opportunity to participate in various community service events and enter several achievement projects in the 4-H fair over the years.
Although she is done with her 4-H career, Hanson said it was a great opportunity.
“I got to meet a lot of new people and it’s a chance to build yourself up in the community,” Hanson said, “to get known as a person that’s willing to help do community service projects.”
The communication skills she learned while president, learning how to work with members and setting up events for her chapter are talents she expects she’ll use for a lifetime.
Active in the Sioux Central FFA chapter, she was reporter for two years before serving as president for one year.
Throughout FFA, Hanson said she participated in career development event competitions that included conduct of meetings and parliamentary procedure.
Her FFA chapter helps set up, prepare and organize a pig show at the Clay County Fairgrounds each July.
Hanson was 2015’s Clay County Fair queen runner up and has enjoyed the fun that comes with that honor.
“I have made appearances throughout the fair and have attended all of the grandstand shows,” she said, “handed out ribbons at livestock competitions and have had fun walking around and seeing people.”
Hanson said she enjoyed competing in the Clay County Fair queen contest. She said she met many people and enjoyed being a part of something that gives positive influence to little girls who love the Clay County Fair.
“Little girls just love the fair queen,” Hanson said. “She’s a positive influence for them and it’s fun to watch those little girls grow up.
“I can remember looking up to a fair queen when I was a young girl and wanted to be just like her.”
Growing up around cattle and working for her family’s business – Swanson Cattle Co. – it’s natural that Hanson shows cattle annually at the Clay County Fair.
This year, Hanson earned reserve grand champion market heifer honors.
She also participated in the pig show with four market pigs, earning champion county barrow, champion market swine and eventually earning district champion and reserve supreme market hog.
Hanson said she hasn’t missed a Clay County Fair and said compared to other fairs and cattle shows she has attended, the Clay County Fair ranks right up at the top.
“Compared to the Iowa State Fair that we go to, this is pretty top notch and one of the biggest ag shows,” said Hanson. “It’s a smaller version of the Iowa State Fair and people come here from all over.
“We see a lot of the more competitive people that come here to show.”
Hanson said she has also seen an increase in interest in some of the animal shows this year, especially the beef show which provided a packed house.
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