As families with small children arrived at the Morgan County Fair to participate in the children’s games, local businesses, families and individuals gathered Saturday in the Ray W. Little Education Pavilion to purchase sheep, hogs and steers in support of area youth.
Each youth can show as many animals as they would like, but you can only sell one animal in the junior livestock event. This year 150 animals were sold, which means that 150 youth raised livestock for this occasional. That is a lot of responsibility for kids this age and gives them a great chance to learn about and respect where their food comes from.
For almost a year, junior livestock participants must learn to properly feed, care for and exercise their animals. This is no small task. Especially for those raising steers that weigh ten times what the children raising them weigh.
Each participant grinned from ear to ear as they showed their animals around the ring. One hog brought laughter to the audience as he chased an empty water bottle around the ring. A member of the crowd said, “The cutest kids and the cutest animals always drive up that bid,” and there was plenty of cuteness to go around.
Prior to the sale, the participating kids were encouraged to invite their friends, families and neighbors with a brochure briefly explaining the program. Kim Turner, event organizer said, “We had so many new people come out this year. Some came out to bid and some just came to watch. It really helps the kids when they see so much support. We appreciate every single person who came out.”
Even the exhibitors participated in the auction excitement. Prize winning steer exhibitors Marissa and Brittany Morgan, pooled their winnings to purchase a lamb from the auction. These two young ladies appreciate their 4H experience so much, they really wanted to put that money back into the program.
Eric and Kim Turner are household names when fair time rolls around, but running the junior livestock event was a new arena for the family. “We really felt like things went well,” said Turner. Their long hours spent in dedication to this new calling was apparent. The torch was passed from the Deru family to the Turners without a hitch. Mynon Deru still attended the event, snapping pictures with a big smile on her face, knowing the event was in good hands.
The Jr. Livestock committee this year consisted of: Eric and Kim Turner, co-chairs; Jodi Morgan, secretary; Ray Little, Treasurer; Brian Porter and Jason and Rhonda Morgan, steer superintendents; Bob and Jen Wixom and Brian and Stacie House, lamb superintendents; Jeff and Lucille Francis, Brady Peterson, David Giles, and Stan and Karri Larsen, hog superintendents; Dusty Morgan, FFA advisor; and Amanda Christensen, 4H advisor.
A new contest was initiated this year after the FFA livestock judging team placed fifth in state competition. They were asked to teach willing participants how to judge what makes a prize winning livestock. 80 spectators learned all the ins and outs of picking a prize winning animal.
Dusty Morgan, who helped organize the contest, said that she felt like it was a huge success. “I heard a lot of positive comments and I hope they decide to continue with the contest next year,” said Morgan.
The judging team consisted of Darrick Eddington, Al Eddington, Brittney Jayo and Brittany Morgan.
Congratulations to all the youth who raised animals this year and thank you to everyone who supported them.
The champions for this sale are listed by division as follows:
Grand and Reserve
Grand Champion Exhibitor, Bailey Wright; Buyer, Peterson Machine
Reserve Champion Exhibitor, Sydnee Wixom; Buyer, Peterson Machine
Grand Champion Exhibitor, Marissa Morgan; Buyer, Atkinson Power
Reserve Champion Exhibitor, Brittany Morgan; Buyer, ICOR
Grand Champion Exhibitor, Paige Gealson; Buyer, Center Point Construction
Reserve Champion Exhibitor, Hannah Clark; Buyer, S &P
Grand and Reserve
Market lambs: Senior Grand Champion Showman, Sydnee Wixom; Senior Reserve Champion Showman, Rashel Blazzard; Intermediate Grand Champion Showman, Lisa Blazzard; Intermediate Reserve Champion Showman, Ethon Dorrity; Junior Grand Champion Showman, Janel Blazzard; Junior Reserve Champion Showman, Ryder Lish.
Market steers: Senior Grand Champion Showman, Eli Porter; Senior Reserve Champion Showman, Brittany Morgan; Intermediate Grand Champion Showman, Garrett Matthews; Intermediate Reserve Champion Showman, Marcie Stapley; Junior Grand Champion Showman, Jackson Woolsey; Junior Reserve Champion Showman, Lyndsee Wardell.
Market hogs: Senior Grand Champion Showman, Shayli Kilmer; Senior Reserve Champion Showman, Ellissa Clark; Intermediate Grand Champion Showman, Gage Thornton; Intermediate Reserve Champion Showman, Ashlynn Dawson; Junior Grand Champion Showman, Taylor Porter; Junior Reserve Champion Showman, Isaac Peterson.
& Reserve 2014
Grand Champion Carcass Exhibitor, Charlee Peterson
Reserve Champion Carcass Exhibitor, Lisa Blazzard
Grand Champion Carcass Exhibitor, Jackson Woolsey
Reserve Champion Carcass Exhibitor, Marissa Morgan
Grand Champion Carcass Exhibitor, Rory Mikesell
Reserve Champion Carcass Exhibitor, Madisen Porter