HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (7/30/15) — 4-H and Future Farmers of America students were vying for top lamb during livestock competition at Hopkins County Fair Wednesday night.
All eyes in the audience were directed to the ring as competitor Kayla Hatfield and her lamb clutched the Blue Ribbon award in the senior showmanship division.
Hatfield, wearing her pink, plaid western shirt, smiled and gave spectators and the judge a nod of appreciation as the junior division competitors entered the gate with their young sheep.
One lamb didn’t seem to like all the attention and attempted to slip from a junior competitor’s grasp, though she quickly recovered the “baaing” creature as the judge passed by, making sure the animal’s legs were placed in the proper position.
Josh Pruitt, a livestock judge and former fair competitor himself, said individuals are judged on how they handle their lambs and knowledge in raising the livestock.
“For this age division, they’ll ask how they’re involved in the project,” he said. “They can tell how much time they spend with them by how well the animals cooperate with them.”
The judges asked the youths what kind of feed they use as well as their lambs’ names. Competitors also rack up showmanship points through interaction and eye contact.
Market class judging is based on the lambs going to the marketplace today, said Pruitt, who has raised and showed numerous lambs at the fair. He said the animals’ loin and legs should be firm with a little fat for flavor.
Although he is a seasoned farmer, Pruitt passes on lamb at mealtime.
“I hear it’s really good, although, when I was a kid, my dad tried to trick me one time,” Pruitt said. “We were having ribs and he snuck a lamb chop in on me.”
Hopkins County Fair continues through Saturday. Rabbits and cattle will be judged tonight at the Drew Exposition Center. Gates open at 5 p.m.
Source: Doreen Dennis from SurfKY News