A parade of exhibitors modeling wool fashion while leading sheep in sweltering summer temperatures may be a strange sight. However, it is part of a time-honored tradition at the Ohio State Fair known as Guys and Gals Lead.  The origin of this somewhat bizarre event is the need to share the story of agriculture and its products. The goal of Guys and Gals Lead is to recognize the sheep industry by showcasing its products, in this case, wool! 

The contestant is judged on the handling of each participant’s sheep, as well as the fashion and style of their predominantly wool garments. Some participants even sew their own outfit! Three classes of participants: junior, intermediate, and senior, take the ring before a panel of judges while a short description of themselves, their wool outfit, and most importantly their sheep is announced to the audience. In the senior class of entrants, you will have the chance to view the candidates for Ohio Lamb and Wool Queen. The Queen serves as an ambassador for the Ohio sheep industry by attending agricultural events across the state, talking with both producers and consumers, and serving as a role model for youth involved in showing livestock. 

Sponsored by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, an organization focused on improving knowledge about their industry, Guys and Gals Lead is a fun, adorable, and creative way to display the direct connection between wool clothing and sheep. Learn more about the many connections between agriculture and products we use every day by checking out the educational events in the sheep barn. Whether it’s taking home a lamb recipe, asking a sheep producer questions, or observing a sheep being sheared, there’s many great reasons to stop by the sheep barn at The Ohio State Fair! The Guys and Gals Lead Competition will be held on Sunday, July 29 beginning at 10 am in the Brown Sheep Building.

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