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Southern Utah News Front Page: August 9, 2019
Come to the Kane County Fair
JW, Lizzie and Wyatt Reese have their sheep all ready for the Kane County Fair this week.
By Dusty Reese
Summer is coming to a close, which means that it is time for the Kane County Fair. Many young people in our county have been working for months to prepare their projects to submit to the judges, but in my opinion, none work harder than those youth who raise livestock.
Our livestock show caters to four different species: cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. Most purchased their animals at the beginning of the year and have been working since then to get ready. One may think this is an easy task, but they would be seriously mistaken.
Cattle, sheep and goats need to be trained to lead and the odds are greatly in the animal’s favor, steers in particular. They will weigh 600-800 pounds when purchased and should arrive at the fair around 1,300 pounds. How would you like to take a pet that size out for a walk every day?
The ideal sheep will weigh 140 lbs., goats 85 lbs. and hogs should tip the scales around 250. In addition to walking animals regularly, they need to be washed and groomed on a regular basis.
The hardest part is feeding the animal. The kids learn to figure the average daily gain and then how much their animals need to gain to be the right weight for the fair, not too light, not too heavy. After months and months of preparation, it all comes down to two days: the livestock show and auction.
On Friday, August 9, the livestock show begins at 8 a.m. All the animals will be divided into market classes based on weight. Each class will then be placed based on the judge’s opinion of the best animal. The top animals in each class will then move on to the star class where the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion will be named. The winner will walk away with the title and a beautiful belt buckle.
Next is the kids’ chance to shine. Showmanship classes will immediately follow. In this class, the judge is watching the kids: how well have they groomed their animal, pay attention to the judge, and if they are showing their animal in their best possible light. As in the market classes, the winners of the class will move on to be named Grand Champion showman.
Starting at 3 p.m. that same day, the Peewee’s take the stage. Peewee’s are three to eight years old, and can show a goat, lamb or pig, and like the bigger kids, they too can come away with a Grand Champion title.
Immediately after the show, you can try your own hand at judging. The livestock judging competition is open to everyone and will immediately follow the Peewee show. There will be four classes with just four animals in each class. You place them first-fourth, and the person who places the animals closest to the judge’s placing will win cool prizes. There will be fun activities for the kids all day Friday and Saturday. Check out thekanecountyfair.com for a full list of activities. (See the schedule below).
Plan on spending the evening to enjoy the Dutch Oven contest at 6 p.m. and then starting at 9 p.m., come get your groove on on the dance floor and watch fireworks at the Orderville City Park. This is one of my favorite events of the year, as all ages get on the floor to line dance, two-step, swing, and occasionally do the Macarena. A mechanical bull will be there for you to relive the glory days that may or may not have happened back in the day.
The big day is Saturday, where all their hard work literally pays off. A Buyers Breakfast begins at 9 a.m., and the auction follows at 10 a.m., with the Grand and Reserve Champions of each species starting the sale.
All are invited to come support these kids and their hard work. There are three ways to offer your support. First, you can buy an animal outright and take it home for your freezer. Second, you can buy on support where you pay the difference between the winning bid and the market value of the animal. Finally, you could give a boost of any sum you wish to any kid you wish.
The kids have worked hard and would really appreciate your help. Plan on having fun at the Kane County Fair.