Fantastic showing: Youths awarded for hard work at Pierce County Fair
PIERCE — It was all about the livestock shows here Friday morning.
4-H and FFA members — and their animals — crowded into the outdoor exhibitor area at the Pierce County Fairgrounds to display their hard work.
Swine, companion animals, sheep, goats, horses and market beef walked the ring with their young handlers, many earning multiple ribbons.
Extension educator Ann Fenton said she was pleased with the turnout of 4-H’ers at the fair, many of whom she has watched grow up.
“My favorite part of all of this is just seeing the generations that come back. Some of these families, I only get to talk to once a year. But it’s so neat to watch the progression of the kids and the skills — there is amazing talent that comes back year after year,” Fenton said.
Madeline Huwaldt of Osmond, both a 4-H and FFA member, said she has been involved with the Pierce County Fair for about as long as she can remember.
“When I was really little, my uncle and my aunts and my dad would show. And then I started 4-H at 8. The Huwaldt family puts on the Pee-Wee Bucket Show, and that’s for the very young kids,” Madeline said.
The high school junior said she was showing beef cattle for both 4-H and FFA, and she had entered art projects and photography in both categories as well.
“It is a lot of work. With my cattle, I catch them and work with their hair — I wash them like you would a dog and comb them and use a special blow dryer — and then I lead them about two times a week.
“And with the other stuff, I just work on it as I get time,” Madeline said.
She had already won one beef competition in the British section breed for her heifer in 4-H, and she was planning to compete in the FFA show later Friday. But Madeline said her favorite part of fairtime is the connections she makes.
“Having the livestock here is a lot of fun. I really love hanging out with my friends and seeing all of the different people come together,” Madeline said.
A much younger competitor, Emilee Schroth of Plainview, showed a small goat in the Clover Buds portion of the goat show.
Emilee, 6, has had Fiona since the small goat was a baby, helping to bottle-feed it.
She said what she liked most about the fair was competing “to get ribbons.”
Fenton’s 4-H assistant, Bailey Carpenter, said she always enjoys attending the different livestock shows, especially when the young children compete.
“I always like the Clover Bud shows. It’s the really little kids, and they’re always so cute,” Carpenter said.
She and Fenton agreed that the 2018 fair, already winding down, has been a great success.
“Overall, the fair is going really, really well. The kids are doing so well, and the exhibits are just outstanding. The animals are loving this weather, and it has been a lot of fun,” Fenton said.