JCTC agriculture student Jessey Craig, like many high school students across the state, put in tireless hours of work each day, year after year, in hopes of one day winning a coveted state championship.
Craig, who has raised and shown sheep since he was 3 years old, saw those years of hard work pay off in the ring at the Kentucky State Fair in August when his prize black-face-cross lamb, Studly, was chosen as Grand Champion.
For students who raise livestock, the state fair livestock shows are what the Sweet Sixteen is to basketball players; the ultimate prize. Craig had shown sheep at the fair many times before, many of which the thought going in might have a chance to win, but when he walked into the ring with Studly, he knew he had something special.
"That day I had two other sheep to show before I showed Studly, and I was nervous for those two sheep, but when I took Studly in there I wasn't nervous anymore. It was like we clicked, it was awesome. Studly is by far the best sheep I've ever taken to the state fair. He was good, and we got in there and won the whole thing, it was cool," Craig said. "After I won and the judge shook my hand I can't remember anything, I kind of blacked out there for a second."