PRESTON — In honor of the 38 years Dennis Clark never missed the Franklin County Fair, and the hundreds of sheep he sheared for 4-H and FFA youth, his family instituted a new award.
Clark, 72, was killed in an automobile accident in Terreton on May 25. He was a sheep shearer by profession.
The Dennis Clark Award is to be presented to a youth who demonstrates the most involvement in raising a sheep at the Franklin County Fair, said his daughter, Brenda Belew. The decision is of who to present it to is made by the sheep committee of the fair board.
This year the recipient was Drake Buttars, son of Ryan and Janis Buttars, of Clifton.
Drake, 14, was thrilled with the award — a set of shears.
“He had talked about buying his own shears and going into the business,” said Janis.
She and Ryan were pleased with the recognition, because they feel Drake truly raised his sheep on his own.
A couple of years ago, he showed his first lamb, which didn’t make weight so he couldn’t sell it at the fair. So he took her home, bred her and the following spring began grooming one of her lambs for the fair.
This year, he did the same, but he did it largely on his own. What help he did get, he sought out from his 4-H leaders, Jeremy and Kalie Smith.
Ryan said all he did towards the project was hook up a trailer to bring his boy and the sheep to the fair. Janis, who has been battling health issues, encouraged him, but the responsibility for the care of his animal was completely Drake’s, they said.
“I feel good — great — because I’m happy with what I have,” said Drake.