102nd annual Routt County Fair kicks off Friday
August 11, 2016
Hayden — Siblings Emmitt and Josie Meyring are busy taking care of two steers, a heifer and lambs, with hopes of cashing in on their hard work during the Routt County Fair's livestock sale next Saturday.
Emmitt, 13, and Josie, 10, each picked a steer from the family ranch in Clark last October, and Emmitt also chose to raise a heifer, while Josie picked lambs this March.
"It's a big responsibility," said their mother Libby Meyring. "They've been doing daily care since (October)."
Events for the 102nd Routt County Fair begin Friday with the Open Horse Show and continue through Sunday, Aug. 21, with the most popular 4-H and FFA events running Monday through the end of the fair.
The hard work put in by the Meyring siblings and more than 100 other youth ages 8 to 18 culminates during the Routt County Junior Livestock Sale, this year beginning at an earlier time of 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. The event barbecue will also run earlier than in past years, from 3 to 5 p.m. the same afternoon.
The sale is a time for businesses and individuals to purchase livestock raised by 4-H kids within the county, according to Tami Eggers, 4-H and youth development extension agent for Colorado State University's Routt County Extension Office.
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"We have a sale and marketing committee that has 4-H kids and parents on it," Eggers said. "The kids have done a lot of marketing so they can bring in buyers."
Eggers said the group this year is hoping to attract more local restaurants that might want to sell the meat from the livestock sale in their establishments.
Egger's said Carl's Tavern in Steamboat has purchased animals at the sale for several years, advertising the locally raised meat to customers.
"He's convinced it's just as economical to buy through the sale," Eggers said of Carl's Tavern owner Collin Kelley, who also serves as president of the Routt County 4-H Scholarship Foundation.
Eggers said the experience of raising and selling an animal teaches children valuable skills.
"The kids are learning record keeping, time management and leadership skills," Eggers said.
Libby Meyring said the majority of youth in the 4-H program reinvest the money earned from the sale into the following year's animals and into a college fund.
She said that while her children are excited for the fair, it's also an emotional time.
"They get sad at the end, because there's been blood, sweat and tears put into it, and then they have to say goodbye," Meyring said.
A full Routt County Fair calendar of events will run daily in Steamboat Today throughout the duration of the fair. It can be found online here.