Hooked on agriculture and The Royal

TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - While some kids his age spend their time staring at computer screens, John Alexiou of South Simcoe is in the barn or in the sugar bush. The 16-year-old is focused on being the best he can be at everything he does. Alexiou started young. When he was 10, he began making maple syrup on his mother's stove and a few years later he's the 2015 Youth Reserve Champion for maple syrup at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (RAWF).

Alexiou's parents are not farmers and they aren't sure how John became so focused on agriculture, but they support him wholeheartedly. As soon as he was able, he joined 4-H and began entering the field crops classes where he placed 16th for his hay at The Royal in 2015.

Next, Alexiou started raising Hampshire sheep and learned to show them with the encouragement of his 4-H leader. At this year's RAWF, he placed 5th in the Breeding Ewe class. His focus knows no bounds and he plans to bring more sheep next year to improve his odds and to learn.

"I'm going to be back next year and I'll come back stronger," Alexiou says. "I'm happy with my results and I'm proud of my 4-H club that is taking home several firsts." He just got his driver's licence yet he knows what his future holds. First of all, he's going to agricultural college and then he's going to work hard to save enough money to buy dairy quota.

"I started coming to The Royal four or five years ago and it feels like part of me now," Alexiou says. He's hoping his instructors at agricultural college will give him the time off so he can come to the Fair. What about the time needed to make syrup? "It makes it tough to go to school when the sap is running and you are operating a business," he says philosophically. John Alexiou is hooked on agriculture and RAWF.

The Royal is supported in part by the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Image with caption: "John Alexiou (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151115_C8736_PHOTO_EN_545143.jpg

For further information: Karen Poncelet, Marketing Communications and Community Relations Mgr, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, 39 Manitoba Drive, Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3, Direct: 416-263-3411 Fax: 416-263-3488

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http://www.royalfair.org

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