Moffat County 4-H seniors reflect on final fair experience

Trinity Boulger tearfully accepts grand champion honors during the senior showmanship round at the Moffat County Fair beef show.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

Whether just starting the process, midway through it or at the end of the road, Moffat County 4-H participants had quite the time after having their dedication to raising and showing animals on display.

With the livestock auctioned off to conclude this year’s Moffat County Fair, it was an emotional conclusion for kids who were competing in their final beef show, goat show or swine show.

Keep on growing

While they still have more agricultural experiences to come, sisters Hadley and Haigen Harrison got a good boost during Thursday’s beef show as they won the junior and intermediate showmanship honors, respectively.

For Hadley, the win came with a tense moment as her animal, Tsunami, got a little feisty to say the least.

Haigen had a slightly smoother round with the more docile cow Cookie Dough. Still, the 12-year-old said she was on edge the whole time in the ring.

“I feel less nervous, because I was really nervous in there,” Haigen said.

She added that she was pleased with having multiple practice opportunities to learn how to handle cattle for judging.

“The jackpots I went to really helped me know where and how to set up,” Haigen said.

Hadley said that she may turn her attention to goats next year, though her sister will stick with heifers and steers as they both continue in the 4-H program.

“I love how friendly all the people are,” Haigen said. “It’s really nice to get to know really good people.”

Off the market

While the Harrisons took the showmanship accolades in the younger classes for beef, Trinity Boulger had a tearful reaction to winning it in the senior division, her final time showing in the youth classes at the fair.

She wasn’t alone in the sentiment as many in the senior class had similar reactions.

Michael Voloshin took pride in winning both grand champion and reserve champ, with his steers Bugz and Nubs, as well as a grand championship in goats with an entrant named Mr. Chow.

“I would like to say that it took a lot of hard work, dedication and consistency,” Voloshin said. “The process of working all of these animals with steady day-in and day-out work throughout the entire summer but also from the time we first got the steers last September.”

Voloshin said he was pleased to see all the hard work pay off, which he believes is a crucial component for farm life.

“4-H has taught me a lot of life lessons and is a very great program for other kids to get into,” Voloshin said. “It has something for everyone.”

Voloshin and many of his other 4-H seniors graduated from Moffat County High School in May, among them Grace Baker.

Baker saw her success in the swine show; with three barrows named Vinnie, Vito and Vance. Vito won grand champion in the event.

“This year has been full of ups and downs with raising my 4-H hogs, but it somehow all still fell into place to get the purple banner, which was the main goal,” Baker said.

She added that the past year made it unusually tricky to work with animals.

“This spring was difficult with having such a long winter and not being able to get the pigs outside and walk them and the fear of them getting sick because of it being cold,” Baker said. “Then throughout this summer, life was so busy between working to get ready to pay for college and raising market animals.”

Baker said she resolved to stay focused amid many distractions and difficulties.

“I made sure to ultimately put my animals first, whether that was waking up before the sun rose to feed them or staying up late after dark to make sure they were walked, washed and fed,” Baker said.

She added that her final year of 4-H has been the most emotional

“I had many bittersweet moments and cried many happy and sad tears, and I am so thankful I have been blessed through so many years to be a part of our 4-H and FFA community.”

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