4-H event a tune-up for Grand County Fair | SkyHiNews.com

4-H event a tune-up for Grand County Fair

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Rachel Romero of Eagle County had never owned an animal before adopting Kyan Pepper in April. The 6-month-old pig is growing fast, and Romero plans to show her at the Eagle County fair next month.

So this week, Romero and her mother are attending the 4-H Expo in Kremmling to get some practice. Only a few hours in, Romero’s mother couldn’t believe how much they had learned already.

“Everyone said, ‘You have to do this.’ The learning curve is really steep,” she said.

The Expo is essentially a dry-run for folks planning to attend the county and state fairs this summer. It also provides a bit of practice for the animals.

Attendees learn to weigh in their livestock and set up their stall. They take a written test, which is also required at the fair, and attend educational seminars about feeding and caring for their animals. They attend showmanship demonstrations and learn about grooming and fitting. The first day ends with project interviews, which are another component in the fair competitions.

The following day, 4-H holds its own livestock show and students win recognition and awards for their performance.

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“The expo is intended to be educational,” said Grand County Extension Director Brenda Kwang.

The livestock division includes programs for pigs, sheep, goats and cows. The expo also includes similar programs for poultry, horses and dogs.

Four different program tracks are offered in the horse division, including horsemanship, trail riding, ranch horse versatility, and showmanship and grooming.

Dog division attendees heard from guest presenters on the topics “Dogs at Work” and “Canine Health.” The event also included showmanship clinics and obedience training.

This year, the Expo was dedicated to former CSU extension agent Robert M. Teegarden, who passed away in March. Teegarden helped found the Expo in 1969 to help 4-H students develop grooming and showmanship skills for the ring. He made it his life’s mission to improve livestock and animal science education across the state.

More than 135 kids from nine counties, along with their families, attended the Expo this week at the Grand County Fairgrounds.

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or rarmstrong@skyhidailynews.com.

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