This year is completely different from all other years. If you have youth that usually get show animals around this time of year, I know you are feeling the stress and anxiety that we all are. Are we going to have a county fair? Should I buy show animals? These are all questions we have asked ourselves. I sit down with 2020 Grant County Fair Board President Ty Bays and we get right down to answering those questions. You don't want to miss this episode!
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Jessica : 0:00
Welcome to the Extension Connection podcast. The Grant County Cooperative Extension Service is here to help connect you with research based information about economic development, energy and water, farm and ranch, yard and garden, natural resources, health and well being, and our very popular youth development program 4-H. I'm your host, Jessica Swapp, the 4-H and agriculture agent here in Grant County, New Mexico. We are part of New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science and we are here to serve you. So let's get started.
I've been getting a lot of questions about, are we going to have a fair? This podcast is is based out of Grant County, New Mexico. And so, in an effort to try to diss bunk, any kind of rumors or fears or stress, um, I decided that I'd go ahead and reach out to the fair board president and see what he had to say about having a fair. Um, I know myself, you know, I worry just the same as everyone else. You know, should I get animals? Should I put money into this? Should I take a year off? Um, I have all the same concerns as everyone else. And so I hope that this episode and this interview, uh, kind of helps put everybody kind of at ease and helps you kind of make your decision. Um, And to do what's right for your family. I hope you enjoy. [Pig snorting sound effect]
Jessica : 1:43
Welcome to the podcast today. Today I have with me Mr Ty Bays. He is the 2020 Grant County Fair Board president, and we're, we're basically getting together today to set the record straight isn't that right?
Jessica : 1:59
Okay, so the most popular question that I'm getting asked is are we having a fair? Should we get show animals? Um, I probably get this question at least 3 to 4 times a week. Um, and mym, my answer has been I'm getting them. I'm still getting show animals. Um, you know, I can't tell people what to do, but, you know, I'm pretty sure we're gonna have a fair. September is a long ways away. So, um, with that, we've been visiting on what are some, you know, just in case we're not able to be on the the county fairgrounds or, you know, we don't know what's gonna happen between now and then. What are some of our options. So what are you guys thinking in terms of the fair?
Well, first of all, we're, we're gonna have a fair. What it's gonna look like and where it's going to be. I'm not sure, but I have I've talked to the county manager. I've talked to people on the State Fair Commission. We're all thinking that, you know, this pandemic that were going through is going to subside at some point in the near future, and we will be able to go back to business as usual. As Jessica just pointed out our fairs not until you know the latter part of September. That's not that far away. But that's a long time away from, you know, in in considering what the country in the states going through. So we're gonna have a fair. We're planning on having it just like we always have. If we don't. If for some reason we can't have it at the County Fairgrounds, we're talking about other options and you know, when there's a lot of different options that we've looked at, we haven't a chased them to ground yet because we're kind of waiting to see what what happens here in May with the governor in the state of New Mexico. But, you know, it could be that we find another location such as the Southwest Horseman's Arena, and and given that, let's just say that we're living under the same restrictions that we are today. You know, I think we could, you know, have the fair there, and that may entail bringing in sheep one day. And we have a show. Pigs, one day we have a separate show and then steers. And, and of course, goats fit in there with the sheep. Um, that's, that's worst case scenario, but bottom line, we we're committed to having this fair, allowing our Grant County youth to show their animals. We will have a sale again. Ideally, we have it out at the Cliff/Gila Grant County Fairgrounds, just like we always have. We may have to go to some sort of a video or private auction, silent auction type thing. But you know one thing I can tell you, get your animals. If we're still living under this pandemic, and hopefully we're not. But a good friend of mine who sits on the New Mexico State Fair commission. He's telling kids, if we're still living under the same rules and regs those, those pigs, those sheep, those steers gonna be worth their weight in gold. Because, I mean, we saw what happened to toilet paper. Now we see what's happening to our meat departments in our grocery stores. Those animals gonna be worth a lot of money. So any event we're we're forging ahead and we're we're hoping for the best and if not, we'll, we'll make this work somehow.
Jessica : 5:56
Right. Right. So we're gonna, we're setting the record straight. There is going to be a fair, what that fair is going to look like, we're not really sure. But, um, everybody that I've talked to that's associated with the fair, Ag teachers, Parents, Volunteer's, board members, everybody's committed to seeing this to the end. Um, what that's gonna look like we don't know, but we're going to do the best that we can, you know, with what we have and everything like that. So, um, I agree wholeheartedly. If if you're if you're planning on show animals this year, you know, go for it, go for the gusto. Um, the other thing to think about in terms of your kids in these projects is there's really not much more to do this summer. You know, I don't know what you know, Little league or all those other things like that that going on the summer, church camps, those types of things. I don't know what their plans are, but I know in terms of 4-H programming, we're pretty much on hold as of right now. Um, so there's really not much more to be doing, and really, it's it, It's actually kind of a perfect scenario for kids that are getting animals because, um, there's no reason that those pigs shouldn't be broke. There's no reason that these steers shouldn't be dog gentle and hair trained and all that kind of stuff. They've got plenty of time to do it. Um, we're always kind of pressed for time, and we're actually kind of being given a gift at this point in terms of, we have a lot of time, now because we don't have other things kind of competing. Um, so that's just pretty much what we wanted to cover today is that, um, you know, we're thinking of options. The fair board is open to options, ideas, input Anybody who wants to help. Um, this isn't just ah, a few people. I mean, it does kind of fall in the backs of a few people, but that doesn't mean you can't help. You know, volunteer say I want to help organize. I want I have an idea. Um, I have a place that we can possibly, you know, have a goat show or whatever. Um, you know, reach out to us, reach out to the fair board. We'd love to have all the help that we can get to make this a better, you know, situation. Um, there's also some other options in terms of the virtual shows and auctions. What are you thinking on that?
Yeah, I know Arizona, some of those counties have done that. Myself and some, some of the other fair board members have looked into that. We haven't really discussed it as a group, but that's not really something we want to go to. I mean, it's an option that we won't take off the table, but, you know, I don't think that's, um that just less than ideal.
Jessica : 9:01
I don't you know, and I know they did, what they did, so they could do it. But that is really not. I know I've helped Jessica coach some of these judging teams, and it's, it's just not the same looking at photos, it just really is not.
Jessica : 9:21
It's not, It's not.
And my point is I don't think it's fair to our kids. I mean, your mom may be a great photographer and might be able to make that pig look really, really good vs the next kid. I mean, just there's too many variables and, and I know they had trouble getting judges to judge that fair because a lot of people just refused to do it and said, they you know, I can't, I can't handle the lambs. I can't check the steers that they got enough fat. I can't watch the the hog move and you know it. It it's, it's an option, but it's not a very good one, but we won't take it off the table. But I can assure you, we'll, we will look for better than that.
Jessica : 10:13
Yeah, So, um, those are, I mean, that is an option. I agree with you it it is not an ideal option. But you know, if worse comes to worse, I mean gets any worse than this... I guess. I guess it is a an option. The other thing is, they do have virtual auctions. Um, and I kind of view those auctions as a double edged sword, um, they can be really good or really bad. Um, those are an option as well to kind of getting our community, you know, being able to support these kids. Um, the one positive thing I think I see in it is that we would be basically live to whoever wants to chime in. So just in case you're a rich lawyer in Dallas, these kids are going to need some money. I'm just saying, um so if you're needing, uh, to get rid of some money and, um, the best place to dump it is on some 4-H and FFA kids guaranteed. So I think that that's something that that may be a positive that might come out of things. I know when I watch online auctions a lot, they get they get pretty steep pretty fast, but that's because you're not just competing with everybody in the in the room. You're competing with anybody in the country who wants to chime in. So some silver lining, I think in all of this. Um, once again, we hope that things just go back to normal or some sort of normal. Um, and that we go back out to the county fairgrounds and we carry on just like we always have. Um, is there anything else you want to add?
You know I would just add I, the New Mexico State Fair. Is still planning to have their fair. I know there were some rumors recently that the Lea County Fair was cancelled, but, I've checked into that, and that is not the case. There's as of yet not been a county fair that has been canceled there. I know there's some over on the east side of the state that come up, but towards the end of July, and they were kind of talking about moving their fair back. Um, but talking to some of the people I know of there, that may be a good thing. They don't like having the fair that early, anyway. And they've, you know, because they're having to feed animals for, you know, basically August 1st fair and then another set for the New Mexico State Fair. and then yet another, possibly another set for Eastern. So, um, anyway, they're not talking about canceling it, but rather maybe moving it back. And anyway, we don't have any indication right now that we're not going to be able to have the fair or any county fair in the state or for that matter of the state fair. So as of right now, it's we're still just all waiting to see. Hopefully you know, this this all passes and we you know, in the meantime, I, you know, look, so let's do our part to keep from spreading this virus around and the better job we do. Hopefully we get out from under these onerous restrictions that were living under and can go on about our lives in our business.
Jessica : 13:49
I Agree. Another thing that's going to be coming up is tag in. Um and we're gonna visit kind off, off the record here on my podcast about that. But I want to tell everybody that, um, you know, we're gonna figure out a plan to get these animals tagged. They're going to get tagged. Um, the rules and restrictions have really been loosened up. So, um, you know, one way or another. We're going to get these animals tagged. We're gonna figure it out. Um, nobody is gonna be turned away. At least not from the Grant County Fair anyway, um, you know, due, all this, we will figure it out. If there's a will, there's a way. So we're going to try to figure out Ah, good method to get this done. Bear with us, bear with us. It's not gonna be perfect. Um, so, uh, and also to just go back to what you said we're having a county fair. Get your animals and have fun like you usually do.
Jessica : 14:49
All right, well, thank you for being on my podcast.
Jessica : 14:53
To go along with the discussion that I just had with Ty Bays. I wanted to add a few things, showing livestock isn't just about the competition. Um, there's a lot of life skills gained in showing livestock. I know, I, I grew up showing cattle, sheep and hogs, and it's one of the best memories of my life. And now, thankfully, I get to pass that on to my kids. Um, some of the things that you get from showing livestock that you just can't get from anywhere else is, um, the responsibility. Um, I don't know anything that can teach your responsibility, like trying to raise a show animal. Um, and it's also a very trying and difficult thing to do it. It's not easy. I always say it's It's hard to control or train, an animal that has a separate brain than you do. So, it's very good for these kids to experience in their lives. You can always tell, I had actually a, a guy once tell me when they were hiring people that if they saw on their resume that they were a 4-H or FFA member, and that they showed livestock that they immediately went to the top of the pile, in terms of applicants. Because they knew that they could work hard and that they knew how to work and get something from start to finish and get it done, and they will complete difficult tasks. And I think that that just speaks volumes. And it's not just my opinion or the opinions of others. There's actually good research on proving what showing livestock can do for young people. Um, Texas Tech actually did a study, and they found six themes that the youth said that they gained from showing livestock, one of those being social relationships. They also get to build their character. They, they reported family togetherness and family values. And that's just something that you just don't see a lot of these days. This is actually something that the whole family can do together. Then be a part of from, um, you know, moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles. Everybody can be involved. Um, it's exposure to competition. That's another one, um, learning to win and learning to lose a very big part of life, exposure to other cultures. There's a lot of different cultures and diversity in showing livestock and then also one of the bigger ones was knowledge and care of animals. Taking care of animals is a big part of it. A lot of times these animals get taken better care of, than we do. I know, for instance, when I was growing up, our show calves got a bath twice a day. I don't know how many people are taking ah shower twice a day, but yeah, they got groomed twice a day and spent the summers and a nice air conditioned room. So, um, and it's the same for a lot of these animals. They get actually treated better than, than most. So there's really a lot to gain from this. And we just hope that these families in our county that they'll continue to get show animals and that, um, and people just around the the the U. S that they just continue on and just stick with it. It's a good thing to do win or lose. Um, there's just always something to be gained. So, um, I really enjoyed talking to Ty Bays today. I hope you enjoy this episode. See you next time. [Baby goat sound effect]
Jessica : 18:43
I wanted to throw one more thing in, at the very end of this podcast. Is that in talking with the livestock inspector. I want to remind everyone when you're getting your show animals, make sure that you're getting a bill of sale. Uh, and if you're getting animals from out of state, make sure that they're coming in with health papers. Those were going to be vital when we get around to getting these animals inspected. Right now, the livestock board is just trying to focus on kind of the main parts of agriculture and making sure those pathways are, are clear. So the show animal side of things is kind of ah, kind of been deferred a little bit, so they'll be getting around to inspecting all these animals when things kind of return back to normal. But until then, your bill of sale and those health papers are pretty much going to serve as your, uh, your travel papers. Um, so make sure when you're buying animals that you get a bill of sale. Um, and you also get those health papers for animals that come out of state.[Chicken sound effect]
Jessica : 19:51
Thanks everyone for listening. If you enjoy this podcast, don't forget to hit the subscribe button on Apple podcast, Stitcher, Google play, or whatever app you're using to listen to this podcast. Want more information? You can visit us at our website, grantextension.nmsu.edu follow us on Facebook at NMSU, Grant County, CES, Snapchat at Grant County NM 4-H, shoot us an email at [email protected] or give us a call, (575) 388-1559.
Jessica : 0:00
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Jessica : 0:00
Hooky with Sloane by Bird Creek