SALEM, Ore. — Temperatures near 100 degrees couldn’t stop Willamette Valley 4-H and FFA members from showing their livestock and other animals at this week’s Marion County Fair.
Melanie McCabe, Marion County 4-H Youth Development Educator for Oregon State University Extension, said Friday that even with the hot weather, the fair has been going well. She said the barns are a little crowded because of record entry numbers. They have also had to shuffle a couple of shows between show rings, but aside from that there haven’t been any major problems.
“The kids are all still in good spirits. The animals, so far, are holding up OK,” McCabe said.
FFA exhibitors, due to the heat, were allowed to show their animals without their signature blue corduroy jackets on Thursday, showing instead in their plain white shirts and official scarves and ties.
4-H member Wylie Bean, from St. Paul Ore., has a brother who shows pigs, so he decided to follow in his footsteps. At age 13, he has no intention of quitting the show ring any time soon and is looking forward to showing in a blue FFA jacket when he gets into high school.
Nick Anderson didn’t start out showing cattle, but he decided to switch from market goats. Anderson’s steer took the FFA grand champion title this year and placed third overall.
“I am really happy, it was a good year,” he said.
This year is Anderson’s third year showing, but his first year he showed a market goat. He said that he always admired FFA and when he started at Cascade High School and found out they had an FFA program he wanted to join. Anderson’s father showed steers when he was younger and pointed him in the direction of a friend who helped him learn to show.
This year is Madi McKenzie’s first year showing goats, and she received second place for both of her entries, Oliver and Buster. A member of the Jefferson Livestock Club, McKenzie has a sister who shows sheep.
Soon to be a high school junior, Abbie Barber started out showing sheep, but now the Cascade FFA member shows Hereford cattle. This year, her heifer is the supreme female for FFA at the fair. Barber’s bull calf also won supreme, and she showed a steer that took first in his class.
Barber said that her favorite part of showing is the animals themselves aside from the money she can make selling them at the auction, describing the cattle as “cute.”
Showing is a generational thing in Barber’s family. When her father was young he also showed cattle at the fair.