Youngsters ready animals for Curry County Fair

By Gary Mitchell

Mike Burns says the two steers his son plans to show at this year’s Curry County Fair eat better than he does.
Kevin Burns, a17-year-old Texico High School senior, regulates their diet to add bulk without getting them overweight, keeps a “cooler house” for them to rest during the heat of the day, sprays them with water and grooms them twice a day.
“There’s a lot to steers, and it’s not cheap, either,” he said. “I think it’s fun. If you do it right, it’s neat to see how they turn out — and if you make the sale, that’s even better.”
Kevin’s brother, Ricky, 15, will show a dairy heifer in this year’s fair, but dairy heifers don’t require as much care to show, he said.
“She’s just been turned out until three weeks before the fair, then I just walk her and rinse her,” he said. “Dairy heifers don’t take as much work as beef cattle. I like to see if I can pick a heifer that will beat all the others.”
The Burnses are among a number of 4-H and FFA youngsters exhibiting livestock during this year’s fair.
“The 4-H and FFA entries for junior livestock classes are already in,” said Stan Jones, Curry County extension agent. “The deadline was last Friday. But we’re still taking entries from people in all other classes, such as agriculture, home arts and others.”
People can pick up fair books and entry forms either at the Curry County Extension Office, 818 N. Main St., or at the Curry County Fairgrounds office.
“We recommend people pre-registering their entries,” said Peggy Burns, Curry County Fair bookkeeper. “They shouldn’t bring their entries until Monday. But by preregistering, it helps simplify the procedures. It saves time, and it’s a lot easier to check them off than to go through the full registration process on Monday.”
So far, in the 4-H and FFA livestock classes, there have been 76 steers entered, 20 beef heifers, 51 dairy heifers, 184 market lambs, 288 pigs and two goats, according to Les Owen, with the Curry County Extension Office.
“We’re probably down a few head in the pig barn, slightly down with the sheep, and up a little bit in the steer barn,” he said. “The beef heifers are still about the same, but we’re down quite a bit in the dairy barn. Oh, yeah, we’re up in the goat barn. We haven’t had any goats in recent years, and we have two entries this year.”
People may register entries for the fair through 6 p.m. Monday.