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      Showing off sheep in Bethel

      If Little Bo Peep lost her sheep, we know where we might find them ... in Bethel, Missouri.

      The town held its annual World Sheep and Fiber Arts Festival Saturday.

      The event has been held for over thirty years showcasing dozens of sheep demos and competitions, including some for children and young adults.

      One of those is the World Sheep Festival Queen competition and its newest royalty is Kelly Heinecke.

      "I'm not really into all the glitz, I like being a sheep show girl," Heinecke said.

      Winning the Queen title is no easy task. Contestants need to have a sheep project, which can mean helping on a sheep farm or being involved anyway in the sheep industry.

      Instead of being judged on wardrobe the ladies are judged on their sheep knowledge.

      "Some of those are factual questions and then there are others that ask about their sheep project, or ask 'how do you do this' or 'what's your favorite part of your sheep project'," Gina Pollard, World Sheep Festival organizer said. "So there are different questions for the judges to get to know the girls and to see also what their knowledge is."

      Wardrobe may not play a role in the Queen competition, but it does matter for leadline.

      "Leadline is an individual walking a ewe that is fitted for show around the rind," Pollard said. "They judged on their outfit which is made from wool or a wool blend and they are also judged on how well their sheep performs."

      "Participating in leadline gives me the opportunity to promote the wool industry and tell people that wool is important and that we need to promote it as much as we can," Rebecca Helton, a leadline competitor, said.

      The exact message these competitions are trying to get across to kids at a young age.

      "This is the greatest opportunity to learn more about sheep and the wool products it makes," Helton said. "There are so many booths and different opportunities to see what wool creates."

      And for members of the sheep industry that's a baaa-utiful thing.