■ Event locations
OA: Outdoor arena; EH: Exhibit Hall; T: track
Exhibition Hall, vendors and midway open, inflatable rides
8 a.m. Exhibit Hall opens
9 a.m. Pretty baby contest (EH)
9 a.m. Chuck Fulton memorial open draft horse contest (OA) team pull auction (T) Flattops Ranch Supply team pull competition immediately follows auction (T)
10 a.m. Mayor’s brownie contest and commissioners’ cookie basket contest (EH)
10 a.m. Coloring contest judging (EH)
12:30 p.m. Ranch rodeo team auction (T)
1 p.m. Ranch rodeo (OA)
1 p.m. Mutton Bustin’ (T) calf/bull riding immediately follows Mutton Bustin’(OA)
1 p.m. Mountain Valley Bank Ranch Rodeo (OA)
2 p.m. Hunters Hot Shots horse races (T) adopt-a-pig immediately following horse races, pre-entry required
2 to 6 p.m. Open class payout, exhibits released (EH)
Junior Livestock Sale
More than 100 animals were sold Saturday during the 4H Junior Livestock Sale at the Routt County Fairgrounds.
Junior Livestock Sale
4-H members show their steers during the Junior Livestock Sale on Saturday at the Routt County Fairgrounds.
Steamboat Springs Nine-year-old Tanner Ripley said Mr. Porkchop is the greatest pig he’s ever had.
It may only be his second year raising market swine to sell at the Routt County Fair, but Tanner now has a gleaming purple Reserve Grand Champion ribbon to prove that Mr. Porkchop is what he calls a “really nice pig.”
“His muscle is really great, the judge said,” Tanner explained just before the 2011 Junior Livestock Sale began Saturday evening. “He’s got good ham and good bacon.”
But Tanner’s favorite part of raising animals for the fair is watching how much they grow. From when he first laid eyes on the bulbous pink animal several months ago, Mr. Porkchop went from 50 to 275 pounds under Tanner’s care.
“I love seeing them for the first time, then seeing how big they are at the fair,” Tanner said.
Mr. Porkchop was one of 124 animals sold at the Junior Livestock Sale, an annual opportunity for local 4-H participants to sell their animals and earn money for college and future projects.
The livestock barn was buzzing for hours before the event as students of all ages primped their animals and themselves. Girls braided one another’s hair and adorned their animals with ribbons. The air smelled like barbecue and the hair glue that handlers use to make steers’ hair shine under the lights.
The first steer in the ring Saturday was Greg Frentress’ Cactus, the 2011 Grand Champion market steer.
A sophomore at Hayden High School, Frentress is in his second year of 4-H and
is learning that patience and responsibility pay off in the end.
“I really like caring for the animals and raising the best animal I can,” he said. “You have to let them get used to you. Then they get real gentle.”
Cactus sold for $5,500, and the Reserve Grand Champion steer went for $4,750. That isn’t too far off from last year’s numbers: $6,250 for champion and $4,000 for reserve champion. The average price for steers was $2,300, slightly higher than the past two years.
Routt County Extension agent CJ Mucklow said the hundreds who turned out to watch and buy at the annual sale are getting more than just livestock for their money.
“I think they realize that this is a good investment for the kids,” Mucklow said. “They’re coming out and helping these kids learn about private enterprise, about responsibility.”
Ten-year-old South Routt resident Jace Logan learned a lot about responsibility from Chad, who Jace said he won’t really miss that much after the sale.
“He got out of the pen quite a bit,” Jace said about his mischievous angus steer. “But I learned how to take care of him because if you don’t, you don’t do as well.”
His father, Mark Logan, who owns a ranch south of Toponas, said Jace took on most of the work in caring for his animal in between chores on the family farm.
“We enjoy it, so it’s not like work,” Logan said about raising 4-H animals with his son. “It’s just part of a way of life.”
There will be only a few month’s break before many of the 4-H’ers buy their new animals for the 2012 Routt County Fair.
Next year, Tanner will be a role model for his younger brother who is just starting out in the program.
And after earning second place overall this year for Mr. Porkchop, he’s in a position to offer some sound advice:
“Just work really hard and do your best,” Tanner said.
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com