Appeal-Democrat Archive Writing

Prepping for the big show

August 4, 2007

Crowns and cows were on display during the second day of the 2007 Yuba-Sutter Fair on Thursday night as the new Mini Miss Yuba-Sutter was crowned and livestock were being prepped for their big show today.

Sabina Dhillon, 12, of Yuba City was crowned Mini Miss Yuba-Sutter after more than two hours of competition. The runners-up in order were Heather DeWitt, 10, of Sutter, Haili Matthews, 10, of Marysville and Raeann Magill, 10, of Yuba City.

The fairgrounds is where youth from around the area bring in the animals they’ve worked hard to raise, some from the day the animal was born.

Marysville Future Farmers of America member Kayla Taylor, 16, has worked with cattle since she was 9 years old. Every morning for two hours she feeds and tends to more than 100 cows and 75 sheep. Three of those cows are being shown at the fair this week.

Over the time she’s cared for each cow, Taylor has gotten to know the personalities of each cow, from the skiddish grand champion Cora to the independent Ruby. But she knows what will happen after the pagentry is over and the cows are led up the ramp.

“I got attached to them before and bawled my eyes out,” Taylor said. “You still get attached no matter what anyone says.”

Outside of the barns, East Nicolaus’ Heidi Goss, 17, and Kylie Watson, 17, were washing off rams 704 and 344, or Bob and Bill, respectively. With a sprayer and a bottle of Dawn soap, the two were giving Bill and Bob a thorough cleaning before the show. Goss said she’s familiar with the animals because they’ve always been a part of her day.

“I’ve grown up on a ranch, so it’s my life,” she said.

The process of getting animals ready for show isn’t for the faint of heart. Between the feedings, the cleanings and the daily attention the animals need, Goss finds it takes a lot of patience and dedication to turn out a good sheep.

“You have to have an actual love for animals to be able to do this,” Goss said. “Sheep aren’t as smart as pigs, but you learn to cooperate with them.”

Raising farm animals isn’t just for teenagers and adults though. Alyssa Lamb, 9, of Wheatland sheared her first sheep Thursday. Lamb has worked with her sheep Lady since she was born last February. Thursday was also the last day she had to practice before her first show today.

“I have to make sure she looks kinda square,” Lamb said about Lady’s stance. This allows for judges to look at the shape of her animal closer.

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