My name is Mackenzie Holmberg, I’m 16 years old and this is my eighth year in 4-H. I show horse and market lamb at the fair, and I also am the president of the High Point 4-H club. I’d like to give you an idea of what goes on behind the show pen.
I buy my market lambs at the beginning of May from a local producer. I feed them and make sure they always have fresh water and a clean pen. I watch their health, and if one gets sick, I treat it. I monitor their weight and how much they eat. I treat them like athletes. At about the middle of July, I start exercising my lambs. We run them to build muscle and improve meat quality. We try to keep them lean and healthy. It’s not always easy training them to lead and stand how you want them to. They jump on top of you, escape from your grasp and stand on your toes quite often. By the time the fair comes around, they weigh just as much as I do.
Not only do I have to work with my lambs, but I also have to keep extensive records on them. I record everything: their health, feed changes, expenses and other activities that I participate in. This record book isn’t just for my lambs; I also keep records on my horse, as well. At the fair, I have the same responsibilities as I do at home. Clean the pen and feed and water the lambs every day. I still exercise them at the fair when there’s time. Between showing horses and helping out with all the other events, time flies.
Then, all of your work is put to test in the show pen. You show in two classes. Showmanship is judged on how well you present your lamb, and market is judged on how well the lamb is put together. Even if your lamb doesn’t do well in the show pen, he still has a chance in the carcass contest, where he’ll be judged on the proper amounts of fat and lean meat. But first, he’ll be sold at the Livestock Sale.
That’s where you come in. Many Routt County youths have worked hard all year for this, and we need your support. I encourage you all to come and visit us at the fair as well as the barbecue from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Livestock Sale at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 18. Make sure to bring your friends and family. For more information, call 970-879-0825.