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Chaves County students shine at 4-H/FFA fair; Children learn responsibility during year preparing for show

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Chaves County FFA and 4-H Fair participants gather near their livestock at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds. (Briana Hodge Photo)

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A year of long, hard work paid off for many local students, as Chaves County 4-H and FFA students netted over $318,000 at this year’s Junior Livestock Sale held at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds in Roswell.

The Chaves County 4-H and FFA Fair participants at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds. (Submitted Photo)

“The fair was a big success,” said Mike Pierce, the public relations director of the Chaves County 4-H & FFA Fair Board. “Everybody that was there was working hard together to make it a success. That’s what makes it a success is that everyone works together.”
Throughout the year, Chaves County’s 4-H and FFA students prepare projects to show off at the annual Chaves County 4-H and FFA Fair. Projects range from livestock the students have raised, such as steers, lambs, chickens, rabbits and dairy heifers, to inside exhibits such as photography, home economics, consumer education and home management.
The Chaves County 4-H and FFA Horse Show began July 15, but had to be postponed to July 22 after ominous storm clouds rolled over the Bob Crosby Arena at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds.
“These kids have worked really hard to get their animals ready, not just for the sale, but for the fair,” said Joy Wagner, co-chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale. “They work so hard for their animals.”
The fair kicked off July 24 with rabbit, pet and dog shows. The swine, market goat and dairy goat shows preceded the July 25 rodeo in the Bob Crosby Arena, where youths competed in bull riding, team roping, barrel racing and other events.
“I think the kids did fantastic,” Pierce said. “There were some kids who were showing for the first time and some seniors who were showing for the last time.”
The breeding sheep, market lambs, poultry and dairy heifer shows were held in the show ring on July 26, followed by the beef heifer and market steer shows on July 27.

“All kids should have the opportunity to be recognized for their accomplishments,” Wagner said. “We are growing our future generation of leaders, and that’s what they are. If we don’t recognize them, they’re not going to be leaders.”
The Wool Lead and Fashion Extravaganza, in which contestants presented lambs and wool outfits they made themselves, was also held July 27. The indoor exhibits were also held at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds.
“We had more inside exhibits this year,” Pierce said. “These are projects that the kids started either last year or the year before, and this is the culmination of their projects.”
An awards program was held July 27 to announce winners.
Brenna Vaz of Roswell FFA won grand champion in dairy heifer, Zoe Walker of Goddard FFA won grand champion steer and grand champion swine, Kannon Ramage of Barn Buddies 4-H won grand champion lamb, Allyssa Fox of Shepherd’s Flock 4-H won champion broiler, Caleb Scott of Kountry Kids 4-H won champion meat pen rabbit, Britt Dixon of Goddard FFA won champion WWF lamb, Sydne Harral of Barn Buddies 4-H won champion OPB swine, and Adyson Harral of Barn Buddies 4-H won champion Duroc swine.
A complete list of winners and entries is available at rdrnews.com.
“We need to make sure all children are recognized and encourage them for what they do,” Wagner said. “As adults, we need to step back and look at where we went wrong as leaders. As adults, we have lost our passion for leading them. We need to show them instead of telling them.”
On July 28, the Junior Livestock Sale was held when 4-H and FFA students sold their winning steers, sheep, pigs, broilers, meat pen rabbits, dairy heifers and meat goats, raising $318,561.75 for students to fund projects for next year.

Click here for more photos from the 2017 Chaves County 4-H and FFA Fair.

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