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4-H youths thrive at Montezuma County Fair

More than 100 4-H animals were auctioned off on Saturday at the Montezuma County Fair. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Popular livestock sale wraps up events Saturday

Forty local buyers bid on over 100 animals raised by 4-H participants during the livestock sale at the Montezuma County Fair on Saturday.

The auctioneer urged on the large crowd gathered in the main barn as bidders drove up prices for steer, swine, sheep, goats and fowl.

Local businesses, individuals and organizations buy animals above market value to support the youths who raise the animals.

Dallin Lanier shows his steer during the livestock sale of the Montezuma County Fair Saturday. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

A buy-back program allows the kids to keep the animal if they choose.

The Grand Champion steer, owned by Hunter Goodall, weighed in at 1,364 pounds and sold at auction for $7,300. Dannika Goodall had the Reserve Grand Champion steer, which sold for $7,100.

The livestock sale is a chance for 4-H youths to earn money while showcasing the animals they have raised all year. They learn how to care for and produce quality market animals and make a profit after paying off costs of raising the animal.

Last year, sales hit about $250,000.

Taylor Garner, 12, raised a Maine angou steer named Mike, which sold for $3,800.

“I like how much fun it is raising them,” she said.

Gabriella Gray, 15, raised a dark cross pig named Sporky. It sold for $2,400.

Gabriella Gray shows her hog Sporky at the Montezuma County Fair livestock show. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

“They are super-smart creatures and are very beautiful,” she said. “The best part is showing. The challenge is keeping them at a good market weight.”

Dallin Lanier sold his steer for $3,700, and his costs included $1,000 in feed.

“I’m using the profits to save for college,” he said.

Fair intern Tierney Wilson spent 11 years in Montezuma County 4-H, and the money she earned selling sheep at the fair paid for college.

“It helped me graduate debt free,” she said. “The opportunities I had in 4-H were a huge part of where I am today.”

The open class portion of the 4-H fair events includes a variety of projects, ranging from food, arts and crafts, and research projects.

4-H member Lily Forsythe presented information on gun safety and participated in the .22 pistol shoot at the Montezuma County Fair.

Lily Forsythe, 15, had a presentation on gun safety. She also took fourth place in the .22 pistol shoot competition after practicing all year.

“It is nice to learn from people with experience and a lot of knowledge,” she said.

The 10-day fair wrapped up Saturday. It featured rodeos, a demolition derby, animals shows, arts and crafts and a country music concert.

Kids reveled in the chicken chase, sheep scramble, and other fun events.

Fair attendance is up over last year, which saw less people because of the pandemic, said Greg Felsen, director of Montezuma County CSU Extension.

“We have seen good interest in the 4-H program and people were signing up this week,” he said.


The hustle and bustle of the chicken chase entertains kids and the crowd at the Montezuma County Fair. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Local kids take home chickens they caught during the Montezuma County Fair chicken chase on Friday. (Jim Mimaga/The Journal)
Beatrice Lawson, age 3, traveled from New Jersey to attend the Montezuma County Fair and participate in the chicken chase. She named her catch Olivia.