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Local students getting ready for county fair

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Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2008 10:00 pm

Six-year-old Jacob Hayn's pygmy goat, Snoopy, is almost as big as he is, but that won't stop Jacob from showing him off at the San Joaquin County Fair.

"I have to grab the horns and he tries to horn me in the stomach," Jacob said about some of the challenges raising an animal.

Jacob, a member of the Harmony Grove 4-H Clover program, is one of dozens of local students who will be participating in the San Joaquin County Fair this week.

Over the last few months, students have fed, trained, and loved their animals. And for some, the loss is difficult to deal with.

"I form an attachment, I always cry at fair," Suzanne Perrin,17, a Future Farmers of America member and Lodi High School graduate said.

But for 11-year-old Samantha Yates, selling her steer is as normal a part of the fair as blow drying his hair twice a day so it stands up in the judging ring.

For another Harmony Grove 4-H student, Kallie Carvalno,14, who shows two goats, selling her animal is tasty. Kallie's family will sell one goat and butcher the other for themselves.

"I've done it the last three years," Carvalno explained. 'We usually kill it and eat it so it's not that big of a deal."

The auction for swine, poultry, rabbits, and swine will be Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. and goats, turkey, beef, and sheep, will be auctioned at 9:45 a.m.

Despite the differences in opinion about losing animals to potential barbecues, the students all agree the fair is an enjoyable experience.

Samantha is looking forward to spending all day with her steer, Ace.

"At fair (the steers) stick close to you because they know you," Samantha said as she blow dried her large Club Calf-a half Black Angus and Main Anjou steer.

Other participants are looking forward to spending time with friends while showing off the animals they have worked so hard to prepare.

"The rides are the best to be honest," said 4-H member James Thomas,12. "(But) it's a good feeling you get when (the animal) does what you want."

Jacob Mclean, a sophomore at Lodi High School will be showing his Charlet steer this summer. He is looking forward to the money earned from selling his steer, Lucky.

Last year, Jacob sold his steer for $3,500 which pays for all the work involved in preparing the animals for the judging ring.

"(The worst is) when they are stubborn and the don't want to work," Jacob said.

He explained last year one of the steers escaped from the holding pen and ran down Victor Road all the way to Highway 88.

Brianne Hayn, a 4-H student showing a Boer goat this summer has experienced problems training "Caramel Frapaccino" as well. However, her love for goats overcomes any issues she experienced the last few months.

"I like goats a lot, once you train them, they are really fun to be around," Brianne said.

For Perrin, this year will be her last chance at fair fun with FFA. In the fall, she plans to leave for California State University, Chico where she will study Agricultural Education.

Perrin said she is choosing to teach agriculture to give back to the program that helped her grow.

"All my experiences in FFA have formed who I am," Perrin said. "I want to give back."

Perrin added because of this summer being her last, the emotions she is experiencing in the final days before the fair are mixed.

"I'm nervous, excited, (and) sad all at the same time," Perrin said.

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