FFA at the Lake County Fair
By: Mariam Horton, North Lake FFA Reporter
Well, it has happened again. Fair has gone and passed, another year down in what seems like a blink of an eye. North Lake FFA stayed busy over Labor Day weekend. Sixteen FFA members took their Supervised Agricultural Experience project (SAE) down to Lakeview and participated in the Lake County Fair. Members of the FFA Sheep Club who competed were Alberto Valencia, Raven Waldron, Wyatt Waldron, Alberto Valencia Mathew Tobiasson, and Brittney Kezer. Beef Club: Felicia Bias, Mariam Horton, Kelli Brown, Jade Stockton, Eric Nelson, and Brad Libolt. Swine Club: Shannon Fisher, Noelle Fine, Maudey Vore, and Destiny Laylon. Goat Club: Luke Elliot. We all woke up at the crack of dawn Thursday, August 30st, to load our animals and head to Lakeview for weigh-ins. The members spent that afternoon getting their animals weighed-in, filling stalls with wood chips, and preparing for the competition. That night, the swine market class competed at 5:00 P.M. and beef market at 7:00 P.M. The members rushed around that evening getting their animals washed and fitted for the show.
North Lake did extremely well this year. Felicia Bias received Grand Champion with her steer in showmanship which placed her in the Round Robin. Noelle Fine placed Grand Champion pig showman and Shannon Fisher came right up behind her with reserve showmanship. The Round Robin Showmanship contest requires the two best showmen of each species to compete with each other showing all the species represented at fair. This year Felicia Bias, Noelle Fine, and Shannon Fisher had to show their animals, as well as all the other FFA animals at the fair.
Showmanship is an event where students demonstrate how well their animal has been prepared and trained, as well as the students’ knowledge of the animal species such as breed characteristics, meat cuts, gestation period, feeding requirements and livestock terminology. It also takes into account the techniques used in the show ring to highlight the animals attributes and overall quality. Each species of livestock has a different process and technique that best demonstrates the muscling and finish of the animal. “Finish” is a livestock term used to describe the amount of fat on the animal. Each species of animal has a specific amount of finish necessary to ensure a quality carcass. Too much or too little finish will make an undesirable carcass. Over the course of the summer, students strive to come up with a specific feeding program that will produce the optimal quality carcass at the time the animal is to be sold at the market sale.
In the market divisions, Mariam Horton earned Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer and Noelle Fine won Grand Champion Market Hog.
I remember the very first fair all of us went to in our 4-H years, and it seems just like yesterday. It’s amazing how fast time flies by. North Lake is very fortunate to have a plethora of good, devoted, 4-H leaders who care about kids. Students enter agriculture classes in high school excited about raising fair SAE projects and most know more about showing and fitting livestock than our advisor does (Mr. Waldron’s words, not mine). The FFA doesn’t have to recruit students to participate at fair; we just have to keep them interested.
North Lake FFA would like to once again sincerely thank all those who volunteered and sponsored awards, bought animals and contributed to the North Lake Pool. FFA members understand and are aware that sometimes hay prices fluctuate and input costs and inflation keep going up, so we really appreciate all those who sacrifice their time and resources to help make our chapter so successful. The North Lake Chapter is constantly grateful and overwhelmed by the generosity of the North Lake community and their enthusiasm and dedication to ensure that agriculture and the FFA continue to be an integral part of our students’ education.
If you want to follow the North Lake FFA Chapter you can find us on Facebook.