GATESVILLE — Youngsters in 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America programs across Coryell County are gearing up for the county youth fair set for Jan. 8-10 with the help of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
A Dec. 18 workshop aimed at preparing participants for the fair drew 52 youngsters to the Gatesville Civic Center barn, where they received tips and hands-on instruction on how to present their sheep, goats, rabbits, swine and cattle.
The workshop began with a meal provided by the Coryell County Youth Fair committee. Coryell County Extension Agents Pasquale Swaner and Julie Gardner hosted the program and were assisted by several volunteers.
Swaner, the agriculture and natural resources agent, and Gardner, the family and consumer sciences agent, will handle fair preparations in the absence of Shane Martin, the former 4-H coordinator who resigned from the Extension Service last week.
Swaner conducted the beef cattle session of the workshop. Kallyn Moreland, 8, of the Cattle Drive 4-H Club, listened intently to his instructions on how to manage her big Brahman heifer in the show ring.
Coryell 4-H alumni Morgan and Marley Smart provided training for youngsters preparing to show market goats and lambs. Thiele Alvarado, 8, of Coryell City 4-H Club and Dalton Blankenship, 10, of Hard Bargain 4-H Club were among the 17 fair hopefuls preparing to show Boer goats.
Brenda Fread, dairy goat superintendent for the youth fair, offered guidelines for showing dairy goats.
James Horton, an agriculture science teacher from Jonesboro, prepared youth for showing swine. Kathy Base, the fair’s rabbit superintendent, gave tips on showing rabbits.
Fair preparation continues Jan. 3 with clipping clinic to provide pointers on how to groom animals for the show ring. The clinic will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the civic center barn.
For information about the youth fair, call 254-865-2414.