Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Steve Hansen

County fair sees more exhibits, animal entries


August 23, 2017

Steve Hansen

Jude Dominguez enjoys a one-handed ride while his aunt, Tiffany Dominguez, holds on at the Quay County Fair's carnival.

By Steve Hansen

QCS Correspondent

The 2017 Quay County Fair showed again what happens when the efforts of a few hundred kids combine with the time and patience of parents and other adult volunteers and a carnival for summer's last event before school starts.

For the kids, high school age and under, it culminated a year of watering, feeding, weeding, cleaning, and dozens of other chores. The fair is where their fruits and vegetables, but mostly their animals, come to judgment.

Judges turned their trained eyes on 75 hogs, 77 goats, 35 lambs, 14 steers and 25 heifers, according to Quay County Extension Agent Jason Lamb.

The entries were often the results of years of work from young exhibitors trained and coached by parents, grandparents and other family members.

Overall, there were more exhibits this year than last, according to Justin Knight, president of the Quay County Fair Board of Directors.

The number of steers was double last year's he said, due to more older kids entering animals.

He also noted a large number of poultry and rabbit entries. There were more than 350 animals entered in this area, he said.

The number of goats keeps increasing, too, he said, because they are easier to raise than sheep and lambs.

Nana Cavett, whose granddaughter Avery has entered animals in the fair for the last four years, said that with goats, unlike sheep, "you don't have to take a shower" after tending them.

Sheep, she said, leave a coat of lanolin on their tenders that must be showered off.

Avery Cavett, 12, of House, said she had a good time this year, entering steers, heifers and pigs for the fourth consecutive year.

The experience has taught her much about responsibility, she said.

"They get a sense of business and where dollars come from," Nana Cavett said. She has been involved with coaching family members for the Quay County Fair for 43 years, she said.

Matalina Smith, whose granddaughter Bailey Rhea Smith took home grand champion steer honors, said the experience of raising and nurturing animals brings "the closest times" to families.

"We'll have our disagreements, but they're always about what's best for the project," she said.

Her husband Harold, she said, took home grand champion steer honors in 1965. Their son Wesley repeated that feat in 1987, and their daughter Tanya repeated in 1992. Bailey, her granddaughter, entered the grand champion steer in 2014, as well as this year.

The family operates a ranch near Logan.

Kaleb Hayes and Jonathan Clark, both Tucumcari area high school students, agreed they have learned responsibility by raising animals entered in the fair.

"You can't hang (out with friends)," Clark said, 'You've got to take care of the animals."

Hayes agreed, adding that the animals "don't take breaks."

Besides ribbons, there is cash.

Buyers made purchases of prize-winning goats, lambs, hogs, steers and heifers worth $133,000 at the Saturday night auction. Buyers include banks, ranches, cattle feed lot operators who often combine to pool funds to buy livestock.

The top price of $5,600 went to Bailey Rhea Smith's grand champion steer.

Fair attendance? No one keeps track, but both Knight and Brenda Bishop, Quay County Cooperative Extension Office supervisor, said attendance seemed to compare favorably with that of recent years.


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