478 exhibitors from Bangs, Blanket, Brownwood, Early, May and Zephyr FFA Chapters; Early FCCLA; and Brown County 4-H, have worked for several months preparing their animals or planning and making home economics entries for the competition.
Brown County Fair Association (BCFA) Finance Committee Chair Gayland Miller stated that the largest number of entrants comes from the Brown County 4-H. Miller stated that it is very important for Brown County to support the youth fair along with good extension agents from the Brown County AgriLife Extension Office because of the number of 4-H members that participate in the youth fair.
“We (BCFA) commend the commissioners and county judge for the quality of staff they provide us,” said Miller who stated that Brown County helps to subsidize salaries of agents, making it possible to have a very qualified and experienced staff of extension agents.
There are 941 livestock entries this year, according to Miller. Market swine have the largest number of entries with 314 animals entered. The next largest is the market goat division with 234 animals entered. Other animals being judged throughout the week include steers, lambs, rabbits, and horses. Goats, pigs, cattle and rabbits have both market and breeding stock judging.
Long hours of feeding and walking animals in all weather conditions have taught many kids important lessons of responsibility, nutrition, finances and the art of presenting their animal to the judge in a ring full of entries.
Breeding animals in all divisions have fewer numbers, most with less than 30 entries each, with the exception of breeding rabbits. Miller pointed out that these exhibitors do not get to participate in the premium sale here or at any other stock shows. They typically receive a small amount of prize money and a ribbon or belt buckle, in contrast with the hundreds or thousands of dollars earned by market animals at premium sales or auctions.
“These exhibitors are involved because of the investment in the program, not to break even,” said Miller. They keep their animal to continue breeding and raising their breeds, which sometimes leads to a career in farming and ranching.
Miller explained that the livestock division has kept steady most years, and this year continues to have a strong number of entries. This year the main difference in entries was seen with the goat division being slightly down in entries, but swine entries being up in number, he explained.
In the home economics division, there are 965 entries made up of food, canning, craft, and clothing items. The largest number of entries in this division is crafts with 419 entries. Exhibitors competing in the clothing division have created their outfits and now will model their work in front of the judges.
The week begins with the home economics division with the clothing division, appearance judging at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, followed by the fashion show which will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Wednesday livestock entries will begin arriving at 7:00 a.m. Competition starts at 8:00 a.m. with Angora Goats. Breeding Sheep, Breeding Boer Goat, Breeding Gilts, and Breeding Rabbits will also be judged on Wednesday.
Thursday will feature Market Lamb and Market Goat divisions.
Friday Market Goats and Market Steer will be judged followed by Breeding Heifers.
The horse show and ag mechanics judging will wrap up the weeks competition on Saturday morning.
Then on Saturday night, the highly anticipated Premium Sale will take place at 5:00 p.m. At the beginning of the sale, Miss Brown County Fair Association 2014 will be crowned.
The public is encouraged to attend the livestock shows (Wednesday through Saturday), enjoy the fashion show on Tuesday evening, view the home economics exhibits which will be on display 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Friday, and view the ag mechanics projects on Saturday morning.
For those who wish to help support the Brown County Youth Fair through a donation or by becoming a premium sale bidder, click here to contact the Brown County Fair Association.
Pictured above are exhibitors modeling their clothing entries during the 2013 Brown County Youth Fair.