Caleb Apple, 16, has spent the past two years raising, showing and selling sheep through his 4-H and FFA clubs.
“I just love getting to know the animals,” he said. “I like raising them up and watching them grow.”
He brought three sheep to this weekend’s Carson City Fair.
He’ll be showing two and selling the third. It’s a bittersweet moment for the boy who has spent a year raising his lamb to sell it for market.
“You watched them grow and you worked with them,” Apple, of Gardnerville, said. “You spent a lot of time with them and you’re friends.”
On the other hand, he said, it’s all part of the process.
“You just have to look at it as this is what you raised them to be,” he said. “Next year, you get to start all over.”
He has showed his sheep in several fairs, including Reno, Bishop and Yerington. He’s happy to have the fair right here in Carson City to add to the lineup.
“It’s cool,” he said. “It’s definitely good having another one to go to.”
Lindsay Chichester, chairwoman of the Carson City Fair Board, said 25 market animals will be sold at the auction Saturday at 9 a.m. at Fuji Park. People will be able to purchase animals for locally grown meat.
Lander Smith of Washoe Valley will be selling his steer there.
He encouraged consumers to consider buying a market animal rather than buying meat from a large-chain grocery store.
“The money we earn from our 4-H projects goes back into future projects,” Smith said. “What we earn from our projects goes into college accounts. That’s how most of us are able to afford college.”
He argued it’s a healthier choice as well.
“These animals the 4-Hers raise are the best quality possible,” he said. “Each animal is taken care of by an individual. There’s a lot more attention put into 4-H animals than would be in a feedlot or larger operation.”
The Carson City Fair Board, a partnership of nonprofits joining together, is working to bring a traditional fair back to the capital city. It will run through Sunday at Fuji Park. Additional parking is available at the Walmart on Topsy Lane with JAC buses running as shuttles.
In addition to the auction at 9 on Saturday, a carnival will also be running through Sunday.
Antique tractors will be on display Saturday. A tractor parade will be at 10 a.m. and tractor pulls at 11 a.m.
The fifth annual Bulls, Broncs and Barrels will return at 7 p.m. Saturday at Fuji Park. Tickets are $10, and gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Alexa Coleman, 12, didn’t have time to get her sheep ready for the Carson City Fair, but came to help her sister, Sierra, 18, care for her calf.
“I like 4-H because you get to learn about agriculture and where your meat comes from and where your food comes from,” she said. “It’s really interesting to got to the meetings and learn new stuff all the time.”
Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.