Fair Week Blog: “Best Week of Summer”

Monday we hauled into the fair. It was the normal zoo. But we got in and got out and it worked out fine. Kids got set up while we went and unloaded the food and clothes at the camper.  The steers were weighed in. Steer numbers were down, as were the other animals across the board. Some of that had to do with Tyson increasing the minimum weight requirement, but super lightweight steers probably shouldn’t be at the fair anyway. Our total for the 4H group was 12 steers, 8 open heifers and NO bulls this year. There were great sighs of relief when we found out that there wouldn’t be bulls. Bulls are fine. We love them, but one of them is going to put his horn into some body part at some point during the week. That is just the way it goes. We ate the taco feed 4h meeting on Monday and prepared for the week. 

Tuesday was market day, they moved cattle showing back to 10, so we got to sleep in an hr, to 5:30, it was great.  We found a pair of men’s boxers outside of our barn, so the partying got started early. The kids got them all the cattle washed. FFA showed first, Anna was 3rd overall FFA steer with her home-grown steer. This is literally out of Anna’s cow and Fur Trader, so if they had a bred-and-owned steer class, Anna could have rocked it. In addition he was a twin and she bottle fed him. The rest of the kids were 3rd and 4th in their market classes. Kade showed Bob, his back-up steer out of his cow and a char bull. Bob was great considering we figured out a month ago he needed to get ready for the fair. Jaxsen had Rockin, also a steer out of his own cow, who we all think is extremely patient and kind considering how Jaxsen handles him. Kaine showed a steer out of Anna’s cow. So all of our steers were home-grown. Everyone did great. In the afternoon Leslie, Deb, Traci and Jolene took the kids on rides. The big kids went on their own, so I did not go, Anna also did not go and we had McCall helping Tuesday. Jaxsen was back after about 45 minutes sick, so he fell asleep on the grain bags. We washed all of the open heifers without the kids.  One of Toni’s clients was in the rodeo grand entry in the stagecoach and invited Toni to ride along. So Toni took Natalie, Ady, and Delilah in the stagecoach which was super cool. 

Wednesday we had fitting and showing, showing was still at 10, so we still got to sleep in to 5:30. Anna was reserve champion in FFA, FFA was first. In intermediates, Kade, Kaine and Ady all made it back to the champion round. In Jrs Natalie was grand champion, Julian and Jaxsen did make it back. Jaxsen once again wasn’t the kindest to his steer, but old Rockin persevered and got through it. We showed PeeWee and then open after that. Kade’s fall heifer was supreme champion overall heifer and Kaine’s bred heifer was reserve champion Angus heifer. Anna’s baby heifer won her division. Kaine had to leave to football practice and did not get to show his heifer, but Anna and Savannah showed her well.  Toni made a rookie mistake and took “cute” shoes that caused blisters on both of her feet on Wednesday. No sympathy from any of us. We all know the rules.  We are sponsors this year so got VIP food every night under the VIP tent and got to watch the rodeo if you could find a seat. Wednesday night was taco night from Fiesta restaurant and it was great. The kids were able to sit with our friends the Moores in their reserved area so got to watch the rodeo. We are a rodeo loving family so it was hard to pull the kids away each night before the end of the rodeo, but we had to. We get up way too early to sit up watching rodeo all night. Julian and Jaxsen are huge JJ Harrison fans so seeing him nightly was a huge highlight.

Thursday there was not any showing going on. Toni and I took a nap in the afternoon after we got everything washed. Kaine went with Mrs Shattuck to football practice.  Our good friend Maria made a target run, remember Toni and I don’t leave the fairgrounds, it is an island and we aren’t getting off until the fair is over, and got Jaxsen a reading light that hooks to his book so he can read at night and not disturb the other kids. Thursday was also the round-robin and our steer kids did great. ALL of the steer kids were from Connell. I am not to the round robin pictures on my camera, but Julian took them and took almost 400.

Friday was the livestock sale, the steers were last. We would like to thank our 2022 Benton Franklin Fair Steer Buyers, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Irrigation Specialists, Watts Construction and Brashear Electric. Thank you for all of your support. The sale was great and prices were good.  The steer barn average was $4.00 per lb or close to it. Having support like that is very gratifying

Friday we had livestock judging. All of our kids are required to participate in livestock judging if they are there, Kaine as a football practice so he was not there. Kaine is actually good at livestock judging, as are our other kids, but him being good screwed Anna and Kade’s FFA judging team, since they were left with a kid that has never livestock judged before. But, I think the kids actually like it, they compete with Toni. Kade had a 247/250 so won the FFA and Intermediate division. Natalie and Julian also place in the Jr division. The kids all did a great job. Also on Saturday the men came down and we went rodeo and loaded out steers like normal. Except Whitney and I went to bed and did not help load out steers. And except a car hit one of the semis so they loaded out way later than normal. I hear it was pretty uneventful considering many of the participants had been drinking.  The big boys and their amazing friends, so Kade, Kaine, Aram, and Keegan all stayed up and helped load. We also had Kelton and Flako, so there were some really great kids helping load steers. Manny waiting in line for 3 hrs to get us good seats at the rodeo. They were really good, thanks Manny.

                Sunday we woke up, packed up and headed home.  Toni and Anna headed home with the cattle first, so got the steers caught and the morning chores done. Once everyone was home, we all agreed that a rest was in order. We got up later and went out and checked everything. We had a partially down gate, a pole down, and the Hereford cattle at mom and dad’s had gotten out. BUT everything was alive and well. So straight back to work for us! Now we get to send the kids to school and get ready for the next fair.

Here are all of the pictures I have edited so far if you want to see them all: Benton Franklin County Fair 2022 – Google Photos

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