The fresh tantalizing scent of barnyard filled the nostrils at Maysel Park this past weekend as the Clay County Youth Agriculture Fair 2018 was underway.
Some of the finest looking animals in this county gathered at the red carpet and showed off their ham hocks. If you like bacon or burger on the hoof, this was the place to be. If you enjoy the head banging action of goats, the arrogance of chickens, or the soft shyness of rabbits, the fair was the place to be. Plenty of folks filled the arena Friday night as the event got down to the business at hand.
The opening ceremony included Brooklyn Gould, a senior at WVU, being crowned the Clay County Ag Fair queen. She is the daughter of Brian and Christie Gould, long time supporters of the event. This will be Brooklyn’s last year as a demonstrator, and she will move on to her career as a teacher after graduation in December. Good luck Brooklyn, we know you will do well. Brian Gould and friends put together another tasty meal for the event and bellies were well satisfied.
Friday night was all about the bacon as the participating youth paraded their animals in front of the judge. This year’s judge was Dylan Frazier of Elizabeth, an alumni of WVU who has judged animal events in several different states. He is the owner of Frazier Cattle and has competitive market animals across the east. Frazier had a tough time of it because the competition was fierce. When the hog parade was over, it was Colten Pritt who took home the Grand Champion honors, with Lydia Lynch coming in a close second with the reserve Grand Champion. Bobby Rogers took the 4-H Showmanship title, and Lydia Lynch was also awarded the FFA Showmanship award. Others who finished with a first place were: Class I market hog- Bobby Rogers, Class II market hog –Sharina Ratliff, Class III market hog – Bobby Rogers, Class IV market hog – Kassidy Dawson, Class V market hog – Colten Pritt, Class VI market hog – Lydia Lynch, Class VII market hog – Colten Pritt. Class VIII meat goat – Isaiah Keiffer who also earned a showmanship award, Class IX feeder steer, Richard Triplett, Class X feeder heifer – Colten Pritt, Grand Champion, Class XI feeder heifer – Larissa Young, Reserve Grand Champion, Class XII 4-H / FFA beef showmanship – Larissa Young, Class I 4-H / FFA market rabbit – Clarissa Keiffer, Class II 4-H / FFA rabbit showmanship – Clarissa Keiffer, Class III chicken egg layer – Eric Keiffer, Class IV chicken dual purpose – Lydia Shamblin, Class V chicken meat – Eric Keiffer, and Class VI chicken showmanship – Lillie Triplett. All of the youth did an outstanding job.
On Saturday night, the auction was held as participants paraded their animals in the corral for the anticipating buyers. The stands were full of bidders, and it was a great time for the youth to understand the meaning of hard work paying off. A big thanks goes out to those who bid and made it possible. All in all, it was a good show, and as we walk away from the event with good memories and with money in the owners’ pockets, let’s not forget those that made everything possible. With names like Shelby, Colt’s Pig, Hamps, Sir Arnold Porkanator Squlington II and James Bond, it could only mean the best of the best. Without these laudable figures who stand in the fields and pens and brave the elements day after day, this event could not take place. So, take time to scratch a head or a belly let them know you value their sacrifice. Just a tip – when you hear the grunts, cackles, screeches, low bellows, and loud wavering cries, much like it is with us, it’s time to eat. The youth of this county, who still hold true the ideals of farm life and have a desire for this way of life to continue, did a great job of raising some of the most superb farm animals. Those at the helm of the Clay County Agriculture Fair also did a fine job of putting it together. It is good that we still have people who care in this county.