Throughout the month of January, I watched the junior livestock shows across Caprock country. I can see why the dedication required for these events and activities should make the families in our communities proud. Kids as young as 6 were leading their animals out into the ring and winning awards in a variety of competitions. This is no small accomplishment, and I’d like to congratulate all the participants on the impressive skills they’ve shown. This is hard work and they’ve earned my respect.
Kids like Trenton Fairchild have been responsible for feeding their pigs. He now has a Briscoe County Breed Champion. Eighth grader Griffith Reel has been preparing his woodworking project, which won Best of Show in King County. In Motley County, Joleigh Darsey has been cleaning the pen where she keeps her Grand Champion rabbit.
Students like Tasha Schlueter and Abby Solozano were up early in Matador on the morning of January 9 to compete.
Nash Long showed off his goat, Nash, Jr., and Abigail Jones had the prototype for her first welding project (a miniature cake feeder) ready for the premium sale on the 16th.
Drew Freeman and his brothers all participated and showed projects or animals.
Preslee Paul (8 years old) has been working with her prize-winning goat since September.
Steers are hundreds of pounds heavier than the kids guiding them.
The value of the showmanship category of the competition is clear. Preparing and safely presenting help to demonstrate the exhibitor’s ability to handle and care for animals, but most of the kids I interviewed were quite capable in sales and public speaking, as well.
In the Valley show ring, the exhibitors battled the cold and the promise of snow. They’ve been working every day, no matter than weather and regardless of other challenges while also attending to school assignments and responsibilities at home. Class and division aside, these kids are all Caprock champions.