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For dairy superintendent, volunteering is in his blood

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AJ Vas stands next to a golf cart Monday. Vas, 23, is dairy superintendent at this year’s Southeastern New Mexico State Fair. (Alex Ross Photo)

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For the 96th year, the Eastern New Mexico State Fair has offered entertainment, livestock shows, a carnival and more to the public.

The Fair each year is made possible because of the time, toil, planning and contributions of volunteers.

Larry Hobson, president of the Eastern New Mexico State Fair Board, said this year more than 150 non-paid volunteers have stepped forward to put on the fair.

As dairy superintendent, AJ Vas, 23, is among the legions of volunteers who work to make sure the fair goes as planned.

In his position, Vas is tasked with organizing the classes for the dairy heifer show tonight, assisting youngsters and helping some exhibitors care for their animals.

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For Vas, like many families and individuals, the fair is a major event that is part of the fabric of southeastern New Mexico.

Dairy is all too familiar for Vas. The son of a Roswell dairy owner, he competed in shows and is a product of local 4-H, Future Farmers of America and the Collegiate Stock Growers. His father is also a past dairy superintendent.

“So I have been around the dairy industry and dairy heifers and heifer showing for all my life,” he said.

Vas said his position as dairy superintendent does not involve a tremendous amount of work, just a lot of organizing.

“It’s more fun I feel like,” he said.

However it does have its challenges, such as being the one exhibitors often turn to for answers.

For Vas though, the fair is a sort of incubator for young talent in agriculture, and a means of keeping that way of life alive.

“These kids are the future of agriculture and teaching the young responsibilities and stuff means a lot,” he said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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