Shannon Sears, of Schenevus, is congratulated by judge Joy Crothers on winning first place in the junior showmanship contest on Sunday at the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pa. (Contributed photo)

Top honors were won by two area participants in the recently completed 45th All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pa., according to available show material. More than 3,000 animals from 23 states were exhibited in 23 shows during the six-day event that ended Thursday, a release stated.

It was "all-in-the family" for 10-year-old Shannon Sears, of Schenevus, who beat 67 others in winning the junior division of the youth showmanship contest of 8- to 11-year-olds Sunday, family members said. She won with a Holstein calf named Twinkle from Ovaltop Farms in Richfield Springs.

Her brother, Cody, 12, who won the contest the two previous years, placed third this year in the intermediate division.

"I told him I was going to do my best to follow in his footsteps," Shannon said about her brother's previous success. "I'm still pretty excited."

She has won the Cooperstown livestock show and various horse shows during the two years she has participated in such events, said her mother, Becky Sears, who was with her children at the competition.

Shannon said she enjoys the competition a show provides.

"It's like playing a game," she said.

She is in the fifth grade at Cherry Valley Central School and plans on sharing the event with her classmates when she returns.

Dick Keene of Gilbertsville, a retired dairy farmer and international judge, said he saw her at the Cooperstown show.

"She is a super-good showman," he said.

Keene has seen siblings have this kind of success at county and state fairs but never at this level.

"It's a big honor," he said. "It takes a lot of work."

Becky Sears said she was on the phone with her husband, John, when they announced the top 10. They kept going and going, and when they announced second place, she realized her daughter had won.

"I'm so proud of her," she said. "I'm happy she was able to do this."

Winning the open section in the spring heifer class is Megan Terry, 23, who lives in Oneonta and works at Lowe's.

She regularly helps at the family farm in Franklin, where her Brown Swiss calf, Mara, lives. The family has a mixed herd of about 130, she said. She has been showing cows since she was 6, but this is the first time she entered a regional competition, she said.

Terry has won county and state fairs before, but decided this calf was worth traveling to a regional show for. She enjoys showing cows because it gives her a chance to meet with other family farmers and learn how to improve an animal, she said.

"It's a lot of fun," she said.

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