Sunday, August 23, 2009

Desert Destination: The County Fair-Part One

Saturday morning we headed into Ely for the White Pine County Fair, where we saw Cousin Clay leading his steer in preparation to show it. He had been preparing all summer for this weekend by feeding, walking, and taming his steer so that he didn't have to worry about a nearly 1,500 pound beast walking all over him. 

He was soon in the show arena with six other steers. They walked them around in circles so the judge could inspect them, then lined them up one way and then another way.

I was very surprised to find that only seven steers had been entered in the fair. My husband explained that there aren't as many ranches anymore. That's certainly true--Southern Nevada Water Authority bought nearly all the ranches in Spring Valley in the last few years, taking away the opportunity of many young kids to get experience with farm animals and showmanship. It's one of the many unintended consequences of a huge water grab.

Cousin Alyshia had better control of her steer than she did just a few weeks ago. She obviously made good progress, and all her hours with the steer paid off.

It might have helped slightly that Alyshia's steer followed Clay's around and around. They already knew each other and felt comfortable. The steers didn't bat an eye when they passed the bleachers, which were filled with spectators.

Although the morning started off cool, the temperatures soon escalated into the high 90s. It made it much more of a challenge to stay cool and calm, but Alyshia managed to get a Reserve Grand Champion for showmanship. Way to go, Alyshia!

Meanwhile, Cousin Caleb was getting some words of advice from his dad for showing his lamb, Tony. 

Desert Boy liked petting Tony's soft wool.

Then Caleb let Desert Boy help walk Tony around. Desert Boy was enthralled with the experience. It won't be all that long until Desert Boy has his own sheep. I suppose I should try to learn a thing or two about sheep before then. At this point I think my knowledge would fill a thimble.

Although there was just one class of steers, there were many more sheep entries. They were divided into juniors, intermediates, and seniors.

The pigs were shown in a separate arena. We didn't get a chance to watch them there, but we did visit them in their barn. I love looking at the pigs. Apparently so did Desert Boy and Cousin Kayli.

Hey, look Mama, I'm right next to a big ole' pig!

I think Desert Boy would have brought that pig home with him if I had let him. 

But there was a way to distract Desert Boy--

--the bouncy castle! Desert Boy begged and begged to go into it, and finally it was time. He and Kayli jumped and jumped, scaled the ladders to go up to the high level,

and went down the big slide! They had a great time and ended up all sweaty with big smiles. 

I'm out of energy today, but tomorrow there will be more about the exhibit halls, auction, and booths. Although the White Pine County fair is small, it was fun!


Anonymous said...

Great job to all the FFA kids!

Chris said...

Great to see the photos from the Fair. Perhaps Desert Boy will want to take pigs instead of lambs to start out with. I think Ryan and Kori might have done that in the beginning.

Gayle A. Robison, DVM said...

Grandma Robison always used to say "There's nothing dumber than a d----d sheep," and she ought to have known, because until Grandpa lost them in the 1929 collapse, they had more than a few Rambouillets. That's most of what you need to know about sheep, lol.

You might want to look into a small flock of a breed good for handspinner's fleece. You could market fleece on the internet (I bought one once) - LOTS of handspinners out there.......

Annette said...

Go Alyshia! Looks like everybody is having a good time. :)

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