A favor for a friend
Nathan Hansen
The Farmington Independent - 09/01/2006

Laura Drewry's fair plans changed dramatically July 27.

That's the day Drewry's friend Jacque Devney was killed in a car accident. It's also the day Drewry decided she cared more about helping her friend at the fair than she did about doing well herself.

Drewry and Devney have been friends for years. They were in 4-H together. They were in FFA. Both raised sheep, and when they went to the Sate Fair they went as roommates. They would spend their days together there, hanging around the pens or wandering the fair.

Both girls believed they had a good chance to earn trips to the fair again this year, their last in 4-H. And while Devney's death kept her from being there in person, Drewry made sure her friend's memory was well represented.

Drewry contacted 4-H program manager coordinator Anne Quigley not long after the accident to ask about getting Devney's sheep to the State Fair. If Devney's family was interested, she said, she'd be willing to show the sheep. Not long after that Devney's parents called Drewry and asked for her help.

Drewry spent the weeks between the accident and the fair grooming Devney's lamb, doing the walking and feeding and other preparation her friend had done over the past year to get the animal ready. When fair time came she sheared it and groomed it. She put together a display board with pictures of Devney from 4-H and FFA activities, a write-up of her life and quotes that appeared in a pamphlet at Devney's wake.

Then she took the lamb to the Dakota County Fair and showed it in her friend's place.

"It was very surreal," Drewry said of the experience. "It was a lot more nerve-wracking.... I wanted to get a lamb in the (State Fair) auction for myself and kind of finish out my career on a high note. When I found out about Jacque's death it kind of changed. I cared about my own lamb - both our lambs placed very well - but in the end it was more meaningful to me that I was able to do it for her."

Drewry found herself thinking of her friend while she was in the ring. She thought about past fairs, and about Devney's enthusiasm for 4-H. She remembered sitting with friends outside the show ring and doing goofy things to make Devney smile as she showed her lamb.

Drewry's showing at the county fair earned her friend's lamb a trip to the State Fair. She showed the lamb there last Friday and it earned fifth place and a purple ribbon.

Drewry had some concern at the state fair because her lamb and Devney's were close in weight. They ended up in separate classes, though, so she was able to show both. Her own lamb finished fourth in its class.

Drewry said the State Fair didn't feel the same this year without her friend.

"It was very different," she said. "It was very hard. Having had her be my roommate for the past few years I was not quite sure what to do there. It was nice being able to have her lamb. I had something to do to keep busy."


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In the  SUPER INDEX,  please see:   "Devney. Jacque Devney and Laura Drewry"

Picture of Jacque Devney is from the Farmington Independent