By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
When it came to experiencing the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, the Livestock Barn at the Clark County Fair couldn’t be beat for non-stop action and effort.
Of course, the barn and barn area housed the Clark County Junior Livestock Show. Members of area 4-H and FFA entered the lambs, pigs, goats, and steers that they had spent months in raising and training.
Throughout the five days of fair, the barn hosted the livestock market show, showmanship show, livestock judging, 4-H skill-a-thon, Round Robin Showmanship, kickball, a barn dance, an auction, both peewee and old-timer’s showmanship, and sheep shearing, as well as other activities. The barn was truly an all-day entertainment venue every day of the fair.
The main event was the livestock shows. The long efforts of almost 200 kids came down to 15 minutes in the show ring with the judge. With animals involved, however, things were unpredictable. Despite their preparations, some kids had animals that just wouldn’t cooperate. Other kids came out of the ring grinning from ear to ear; able to catch the judge’s eye, impress him, and come out a winner.
This year’s judge was Dr. Chris Skaggs from Texas A&M University. He has coached national livestock judging teams and has judged livestock shows in 38 states.
“This show was great,” Dr. Skaggs said.. “It ran seamlessly. I love to see families come together and cheer each other on.”
This year’s overall winners for showmanship were Anna Stratton in the senior division, Ryan McMurray in the intermediate division, and Nadia Shakespear in the junior division.
In the evenings, kids were able to relax. 4-H Coordinator Lacey Sproul-Tom organized activities that helped the competitors become friends out of the ring. Friday night a no-holds-barred kickball tournament took place. Saturday night was a family dance that had kids of all ages dancing, singing, and showing off their moves.
Sunday’s activities are aimed at letting the public see the fun side of livestock animals. Peewee showmanship allowed any youngster who wished to come into the ring to show a lamb and/or a goat for a ribbon and a treat.
Saturday was auction day at the barn. Exhibitors are able to auction off the animals they have been raising and hopefully get to make a little money as well.
The auction and add-on money from this year’s sale totaled $407,165.75, slightly down from last year’s eight-year high. A total of 31 lambs, 34 steers, 13 goats, and 113 pigs went through the sale this year. Lambs averaged $9.50/lb; steers averaged $4.25/lb, goats averaged $7.75/lb; and pigs averaged $5.50/lb.
This year’s Grand Champion beef was exhibited by Keypher Bullock and purchased by Frontier Ag Services and Valley Enterprises for $7/lb. The Reserve Champion steer was exhibited by Tatyana Bullock and purchased by Frontier Ag Services for $6.25/lb.
The Grand Champion lamb was exhibited by Elayna Sosa and was sold to Norm Tom for $10/lb. The Reserve Champion lamb was exhibited by Tatyana Bullock and purchased by Frontier Ag Services for $11.75/lb.
The Grand Champion goat was exhibited by Taytum Yardley and purchased by Glen and Shirley Hardy for $6.75/lb. The Reserve Champion goat was exhibited by Nadia Shakespear and purchased by Brendan and Emily Yeager for $8/lb.
The Grand Champion pig was exhibited by Brock Eastman and purchased by Tye and Katie Eastman for $8/lb. The Reserve Champion pig was exhibited by Ronald Bullock and purchased by Frontier Ag Services for $12.25/lb.
“Every thing ran smoothly from the selling to the loading,” said CCJLA Auction Steward Danea Gollahan. “We took credit cards for the first time and that turned out to be awesome.”
Denise O’Toole, MVHS FFA adviser and CCJLA assistant secretary agreed. “The sale was a success,” she said. “Most buyers gave the kids a really good price. We’re thankful for our buyers and supporters because they’re always so willing to give and to support the kids.”
Cassidie Jones, a member of the local FFA chapter explained why she participates in the show every year. “I like to show livestock because I like the competition and the drive,” she said. “It was a tough year for me this year and my lamb and I finished out of the money, but I’ve set goals that I plan to achieve next year.”
CCJLA president Corey Houston was pleased with how the whole show went. “We’re grateful for everyone who came out and supported us from the kids to the parents to the buyers,” he said. “It was a great show and I think my favorite part was seeing everyone helping each other. It’s a competition, but it’s a friendly competition. I saw lots of kids helping each other and that’s what it’s all about.”