Eaton sisters hoping for fun, a few bucks at Weld County Fair | TheFencePost.com
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Eaton sisters hoping for fun, a few bucks at Weld County Fair

Bill Jackson
For the Fence Post

Brittany Ledall has three goals for the 2009 Weld County Fair, and they are the same goals she and her two sisters have had for the past several years.

The first goal is to have a market pig good enough to qualify for the Junior Market Livestock Sale, which all three have attained on a regular basis through the years. The second would be to have the grand champion, for the prestige of such a title and realizing a grand champion brings top money at the sale.

“But dad always said to have a good time, that’s what’s important,” said Kati, the oldest of the three at 19. She, Brittany, 17, and Aimee, 14, are the daughters of Gordon and Lindee Ledall of rural Eaton and are members of the Country Boots ‘n Skirts 4-H Club. Each has a savings account, which will be used for their college education, which get a boost each year when they sell their animals at the fair. For the past few years, market hogs in the sale have brought close to $1,000 more than market price, and a grand champion can command upwards of $1,500 or more.

Brittany and Aimee will exhibit their animals at the market swine show of this year’s fair, which gets its official start Wednesday, but several pre-fair events started late last week. Kati, a sophomore-to-be at Colorado State University, has completed her 4-H career but helps her younger sisters with their fair animals.

All fair events are in Island Grove Regional Park, 525 N. 15th Ave. in Greeley.

This year’s fair royalty includes Queen Shea Dillon of Galeton, Attendant Shannon Baylie of Hudson and Princess Kristen Schmidt of Greeley. All of them will not only be exhibiting projects at this year’s fair, but will responsible for handing out the hundreds of ribbons and trophies.

The Weld Extension office said entries in this year’s fair are about equal to those of last year. Almost 7,500 entries for 4-H, FFA and open division projects had been received at the office as of mid-week last week. Livestock entries are nearly equal with the biggest jump coming from dairy cattle, which are up by more than 20 head this year. There are 137 market beef, 175 market lambs, 242 market goats and 352 market swine that were pre-entered for this year’s fair.

Brittany and Aimee will take three pigs each to the fair this year, two Hampshires, a Yorkshire and three crossbreds. They raised the animals themselves.

“We always have three to five sows that we breed,” Kati said. Brittany added that one of the pigs she is taking this year came from a reserve champion lightweight she had at last year’s fair.

“I love Hampshires, they’ve always been my favorite,” Brittany said, pointing to one of the black and white pigs she thinks could be the best she’s bringing to Greeley this year.

The girls, Kati said, usually don’t name their pigs.

“The first year we went to the fair we named them after friends, then we had to bring them home and eat them. It was horrible,” she said.

But this year they had family visiting from Louisiana over the July 4 holiday and a cousin, Erin Kennedy, 7, named the pigs. She decided on names like Oreo, Blizzard, Lilly and Thomas. The pigs weigh between 220 and 240 pounds each, which is an ideal market weight. The girls fed them on a finishing ration the past few weeks to maintain body weight and condition going into the fair.

Each year, a 4-H or FFA member can qualify one animal to the sale. The sale is limited to 245 animals, so not every animal qualifies. The sale is supported by area businesses and individuals who pay far more than the market price set for each species prior to the sale to support 4-H and FFA members. Those who purchase the animals are not required to keep them; most are taken to processing facilities the day after the sale to those companies which established the market price the day of the sale. The 4-H or FFA member receives the amount bid at the sale.

Brittany said in past years, all the money she has received at the sales have gone into her savings account, set up to help with her college education. She and Kati also work part time during the summer months; Kati said she will continue to work part time during her sophomore year at CSU.

“This year, I’m going to use part of it to help buy a car, but the rest will go into my savings account,” Brittany said. A junior-to-be at Eaton High School who was one of three Eaton students chosen for the Ryla Rotary Youth Leadership Award this summer and recently returned from a leadership camp in Estes Park, said she wants to major in radiology in college. She hasn’t made up her mind what school she wants to attend. Her older sister, who is majoring in human development and family studies at CSU – she’s the fourth generation in the family to go to the Fort Collins school – intends to become an occupational therapist.

This year’s fair concludes with the Junior Livestock Sale which begins at 3 p.m., Aug. 3 in the Events Center.

Brittany Ledall has three goals for the 2009 Weld County Fair, and they are the same goals she and her two sisters have had for the past several years.

The first goal is to have a market pig good enough to qualify for the Junior Market Livestock Sale, which all three have attained on a regular basis through the years. The second would be to have the grand champion, for the prestige of such a title and realizing a grand champion brings top money at the sale.

“But dad always said to have a good time, that’s what’s important,” said Kati, the oldest of the three at 19. She, Brittany, 17, and Aimee, 14, are the daughters of Gordon and Lindee Ledall of rural Eaton and are members of the Country Boots ‘n Skirts 4-H Club. Each has a savings account, which will be used for their college education, which get a boost each year when they sell their animals at the fair. For the past few years, market hogs in the sale have brought close to $1,000 more than market price, and a grand champion can command upwards of $1,500 or more.

Brittany and Aimee will exhibit their animals at the market swine show of this year’s fair, which gets its official start Wednesday, but several pre-fair events started late last week. Kati, a sophomore-to-be at Colorado State University, has completed her 4-H career but helps her younger sisters with their fair animals.

All fair events are in Island Grove Regional Park, 525 N. 15th Ave. in Greeley.

This year’s fair royalty includes Queen Shea Dillon of Galeton, Attendant Shannon Baylie of Hudson and Princess Kristen Schmidt of Greeley. All of them will not only be exhibiting projects at this year’s fair, but will responsible for handing out the hundreds of ribbons and trophies.

The Weld Extension office said entries in this year’s fair are about equal to those of last year. Almost 7,500 entries for 4-H, FFA and open division projects had been received at the office as of mid-week last week. Livestock entries are nearly equal with the biggest jump coming from dairy cattle, which are up by more than 20 head this year. There are 137 market beef, 175 market lambs, 242 market goats and 352 market swine that were pre-entered for this year’s fair.

Brittany and Aimee will take three pigs each to the fair this year, two Hampshires, a Yorkshire and three crossbreds. They raised the animals themselves.

“We always have three to five sows that we breed,” Kati said. Brittany added that one of the pigs she is taking this year came from a reserve champion lightweight she had at last year’s fair.

“I love Hampshires, they’ve always been my favorite,” Brittany said, pointing to one of the black and white pigs she thinks could be the best she’s bringing to Greeley this year.

The girls, Kati said, usually don’t name their pigs.

“The first year we went to the fair we named them after friends, then we had to bring them home and eat them. It was horrible,” she said.

But this year they had family visiting from Louisiana over the July 4 holiday and a cousin, Erin Kennedy, 7, named the pigs. She decided on names like Oreo, Blizzard, Lilly and Thomas. The pigs weigh between 220 and 240 pounds each, which is an ideal market weight. The girls fed them on a finishing ration the past few weeks to maintain body weight and condition going into the fair.

Each year, a 4-H or FFA member can qualify one animal to the sale. The sale is limited to 245 animals, so not every animal qualifies. The sale is supported by area businesses and individuals who pay far more than the market price set for each species prior to the sale to support 4-H and FFA members. Those who purchase the animals are not required to keep them; most are taken to processing facilities the day after the sale to those companies which established the market price the day of the sale. The 4-H or FFA member receives the amount bid at the sale.

Brittany said in past years, all the money she has received at the sales have gone into her savings account, set up to help with her college education. She and Kati also work part time during the summer months; Kati said she will continue to work part time during her sophomore year at CSU.

“This year, I’m going to use part of it to help buy a car, but the rest will go into my savings account,” Brittany said. A junior-to-be at Eaton High School who was one of three Eaton students chosen for the Ryla Rotary Youth Leadership Award this summer and recently returned from a leadership camp in Estes Park, said she wants to major in radiology in college. She hasn’t made up her mind what school she wants to attend. Her older sister, who is majoring in human development and family studies at CSU – she’s the fourth generation in the family to go to the Fort Collins school – intends to become an occupational therapist.

This year’s fair concludes with the Junior Livestock Sale which begins at 3 p.m., Aug. 3 in the Events Center.


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