By Jacob Sanchez
“You’ll never want to eat another hamburger again,” a man said to a passerby while waiting for the heifer show to begin during the Quay County Fair at the fairgrounds.
Here come the calves into the show arena being led by their young caretakers of the past few months. The next few moments will be the deciding factor on whether a person wants to buy a heifer.
There were plenty of buyers this past weekend at the Quay County Fair because together they bought an estimated $114,000 worth of livestock, said Brenda Bishop, Quay County Extension Office program director. County fair board member Jessica Elebario had just given Bishop that estimate on Monday.
Last year, livestock sales totaled $100,000.
Bishop believes attendance is on par with last year’s county fair.
“We don’t count attendance so it’s really hard to tell what our actual attendance is,” Bishop said. “Every evening seemed to be very busy, but Wednesday was exceptional busy.”
The greater attendance on Wednesday was probably caused by the swine show and the Shepherd’s Lead contest, Bishop said.
Showing the pigs were 19 exhibitors; four girls participated in the Shepherd’s Lead contest, according to data provided by the Quay County Extension Office. In total, there were 61 total animal exhibitors showing 180 animals.
The largest group was the goat exhibitors, with 23.
The kids are the biggest beneficiaries of the county fair, Bishop said.
“The whole year they spend working on the animal project helps build lots of character, teaches responsibility, sometimes hard lessons … like death,” she said. “Sometimes people, especially in this era, take things for granted. We hope our kids learn that not everyone makes the sale and should be happy about it … You have to work hard to earn that (sale).”
Along with the exhibitors, there are 4-Hers who are showed off their work and volunteered working various jobs around the fair, such as the concession stand or picking up trash. These young adults are learning skills they would not have learned inside a classroom, Bishop said.
Overall, Bishop thought the county fair “went really well … everything ran so smoothly.”
Planning for next year’s county fair has already begun. The county fair board will meet at the end of this month to review the changes they made to this year’s fair.
“We are always looking for ways to improve,” Bishop said. “I’d like to see more people participating (next year).”