Fairs and livestock shows are looking quite a bit different this year with many going virtual or being held with very few spectators.
This will be the second time the Tooele County Fair has been canceled. The first time was due to budget concerns, and this year is due to COVID-19 concerns. Although the traditional fair won’t be happening in Tooele, the livestock committee has been working hard to make the livestock show successful.
For months families have sheltered in their homes; kids have missed out on school, sports, and hanging out with friends. Feeding and working with their livestock projects has allowed them to focus on something other than COVID-19. It brings families together in the barn or pasture where they’re making memories and learning.
Some people may not understand what drives some parents to invest so much money, so many hours, and so much of themselves into showing livestock. But when you look around at all the youth at a livestock show, you will know without a doubt there is no better investment. August 5-8 our youth will have the opportunity to get butterflies in their stomachs, work to calm their nerves, and compete.
The Tooele County Livestock Show will look a little different and feel a little different this year with all the necessary precautions that need to be taken. Here are some of the differences:
• Touchless hand sanitizer stations will be available. Staff will be sanitizing high touch areas throughout the show.
• The barn has two large doors which will remain open for airflow, and there is a grass area outside where families can hang out between shows. Everyone is encouraged to stick to small groups and social distance.
• Masks are required if you are not able to maintain the social distance requirements.
• There will be no lining up for your show class this year. It will be the youth’s responsibility to stand next to their pen with their animal ready to go until called to the show ring. Participants will have four minutes to get from their pen to the ring.
• Class sizes will be smaller.
• Some benches in the bleachers will be blocked off to create more space between groups of people watching the show.
• There will be no ice cream social or awards evening this year.
• The concession stand will only be serving pre-packed foods this year. There will be a couple of food trucks available to purchase food outside.
The stock show will start with animal weigh-ins Wednesday at 4 p.m. The written test and junior judging will start at 7 p.m. Animals will be judged Thursday starting at 8 a.m. for hogs, 10:30 a.m. for sheep, 2 p.m. for goats, and beef at 5 p.m.
Showmanship will start Friday at 8 a.m. with the same order as animal judging; times may vary. The sale is Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
The livestock show is still open to the public. Even if you don’t have an animal in the show come on down and see what it’s all about and show support to our local FFA and 4-H youth.
As we watch the youth show their livestock, we will have an appreciation for the gift of agriculture and what it means to be united together. There is something other than COVID-19 happening in the world.
If you would like to donate to The Friends of Livestock, contact Linden Greenhalgh at email@example.com or 435-840-288
Robyn Handley is a 4-H Volunteer/Teen Council Advisor at the USU Extension – Tooele County office, which is located inside the Tooele County Health Department Building, 151 N. Main, Tooele. For more information about the Tooele County 4-H Program, contact Handley at 435-277-2402 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.