Short notice was no problem for Windsor Central High School senior Natalia Ciborowski at July’s Broome County Fair.
She won Grand Champion Breeding Hog and Honorable Mention Grand Champion Lamb. What made the accomplishment more impressive was she learned she was going to show the hog at the last minute.
“We registered someone who was supposed to show the pig, but he didn’t show up, so I did it. I didn’t think I’d be good at showing a pig, but it turned out I was pretty good and I won,” said Ciborowski.
Normally, a competitor will register their animal with the Broome County Fair by June 1st and have almost two months of practice showing before the fair begins the last week of July. Ciborowski had just a matter of days.
“Any opportunity that she had, she took that pig into the show ring even late at night to learn that pig’s tendencies and give that pig the practice in that arena so it wouldn’t run away,” said WCHS agriculture teacher Tina Miner-James.
“Honestly, I was really surprised. It was a really hot day, and my pig was acting up. The judge said I won Grand Champion Breeding, and I was like, ‘Oh, really.’ I didn’t know what to do,” said Ciborowski.
Ciborowski has a natural ability to manage animals.
“You just have to be able to be the person who can work with the animals. If you were an ordinary person coming off the street and didn’t know about the animals, you wouldn’t be able to get it to the right place,” said Ciborowski.
“Her secret is no matter what animal she’s on, she remains calm. Because she’s calm, cool, and collected, the animal is calm, cool, and collected. Watching her grow as a show person in the ring, it was fantastic. Not every kid has that ability,” said Mrs. Miner-James.
Ciborowski wants to become a veterinarian. She’s increased her exposure to animals both on campus and on Mrs. Miner-James’ farm.
“I think this experience is giving her the opportunity to work with animals she hasn’t had the opportunity to work with before. She not only is involved in the feeding and care, but she’s been involved in giving medicine and animal health,” said Mrs. Miner-James. “She’s made sure they have the right shots to go to fair, have the veterinary inspections they need, and she’s worked with the vet (Tom Smith, TP Cattle Services) who comes to my farm to do that.”
“I’m learning how to feed them and how to give them medication,” said Ciborowski. “I want to be a veterinarian and I figured this was a good place to learn.”