The Jackson children of Ryan, Nicole and Wylie plan to take the show ring at the Kenosha County Fair held the week of Aug. 16-20. All three are members of Paris Happy Workers 4-H Club (Submitted/The Report).

By Jason Arndt

Before the Jacksons were born, parents Shelly and Keith set a foundation in 1996, when they built the family farm of 40 acres.

Since then, the Jackson children consisting of Nicole, 19, Wylie, 17, and Ryan, 14, have engaged in activities for the Paris Happy Workers 4-H Club, where they have accumulated multiple accolades showing animals at the Kenosha County Fair.

For Nicole, however, this year’s fair marks her last appearance showcasing animals, but she has established a well-rounded career.

Nicole became a perennial reserve grand champion Angus steer winner and also garnered championships showing pigs, including last year, when she won championships showing pigs.

“I have been very fortunate to have done well throughout my 4-H career,” said Nicole, a 2016 Westosha Central High School graduate and incoming sophomore at Milwaukee School of Engineering. “I won reserve champion Angus steer five years in a row.”

In her last year, Nicole plans to feature a spotted pig named Charlie and two crossbred pigs, Mac and Danny.

Wylie, who credits Nicole for her unconditional support, looks to carry on the Jackson tradition following the 2017 Kenosha County Fair.

“I think the best thing about having an older sister is knowing that she’s always watching and supporting me, she’s always right on the edge of the show ring watching,” Wylie said. “It will definitely be weird not having her ready to roll on show day with Ryan and I next year.”

Wylie, meanwhile, has collected Kenosha County Fair achievements of her own, starting in 2015 when she won reserve grand champion steer followed by versatile range of championships last year.

Last year, Wylie picked up senior lamb showman, champion broiler chicken, reserve champion roaster chicken and reserve champion chicken.

Entering the 2017 campaign, Wylie plans to show Dex, a Duroc pig, and Hector, a Hampshire.

As Nicole and Wylie collected multiple accolades, Ryan enters his fifth year showing animals, including a Yorkshire pig named Abraham and a Crossbred he calls Bubba in 2017.

Ryan enters his freshman year at Westosha Central.

The Jackson’s success would not have been possible without each other and their parents, Keith and Shelly, according to Nicole and Wylie.

“All of the success came from a full family effort. All of us needed help when we are busy with school and sporting events,” Wylie said. “We all go to the auctions and help each other pick the best pigs. 4-H is something our whole family bonds over, the animals become a part of our family too!”

Nicole agreed, adding her siblings and parents pitched in while she attended classes at MSOE.

“With being away at school, my family stepped up and took care of my pigs,” Nicole said. “This made it possible to do this project and go to school. But even before going to college, my family supported me greatly.”

The three collectively plan to show a pen of roaster chickens, which need to weight more than 5 pounds and pen of broiler chickens, not to exceed 4 1/2 pounds.

Fair exploration
Showcasing animals is just one segment of the Jacksons’ experience.

“I love walking through the barns and seeing everyone’s animals and projects,” said Wylie. “We go to school with most of the kids, so it’s super fun to relate to them through 4-H.”

Nicole, meanwhile, will miss the camaraderie of fellow 4-H members.

“Showing at the Kenosha County Fair is a unique experience,” Nicole said. “I have shown at multiple jackpot shows and the Wisconsin State Fair, and learned that the 4-Hers here are very supportive of each other.”

The Kenosha County Fair affords Nicole an opportunity to educate visitors on agriculture.

“More often than not, the fairgoers wandering through the barn have no idea of the process of how meat animals are raised,” Nicole said. “I also love seeing little kids run up to the pigs and scream and laugh at the pigs’ snorting noises.”

As Nicole’s career comes to a close, Wylie recalls words of wisdom she received from her older sister, who told her to cherish the moments.

“For words of wisdom-Nicole has said “It always seems like you have a lot of years left to show, but it goes extremely fast!” Wylie said.


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