Highland Fair Livestock Contests Showcase County Youth Knowledge Of Agriculture
Monterey, VA – The Highland County Fair cattle and hog show is a big day for the county’s youth working in agriculture. It’s a time to show their animals and hopefully be judge’s choice in their classes. Rhonda Obaugh at age 13 is a four year veteran of showing livestock. She describes some of the work it takes to prepare an animal for the show.
“Well first off you have to halter break them, get them used to you and get them used to training” says Obaugh. “It is not a hard project.”
Christan Herber a sophomore at Highland High School, emphasizes on an important feature in preparing for the livestock shows.
“Biggest thing I would say is practice, practice, practice” he says.
The day of the show is exciting and hectic for participants but work is still to be completed. Highland High School Freshman Burgundy Hicks describes how long the work takes and what the work entails to get the animals ready.
“About an hour to two hours” says Hicks. “You have to wash them, blow dry them, spray paint their feet, and then you’re ready for the show.”
Obaugh describes the few moments in the show ring with the judge after months of preparation.
“Well you go out there, set your steer up with his back legs even and his front legs even” she says. “Then you focus on the judge and he will ask you some questions about the animal.”
After each class, ribbons are awarded and winners are announced. Animals that are in the market classes will be sold on Saturday and eventually slaughtered. This is a bittersweet process. Many times animals are like pets to the youth.
“You get heart broke because you get attached to them but then again you are relieved.”
But, the reward is very sweet. The youth will receive money for selling their animals. Suzanna Landrum of Monterey enjoys participating in the shows and tells what she will do with her livestock money.
“It is very fun for me and I think it is a great way to get money for you” says Landrum. “I think I’m going to be saving it up for college.”