Local 4-Hers take livestock to state fair
On Tuesday afternoon, Christy Works, 14, introduced her dairy cow to the Dairy Queen.
Christy led her cow, Stella, through the Dairy Queen drive-through, and she got a free MooLatte, a new coffee shake concoction. In celebration of the Nevada State Fair, Dairy Queen offered the free drink to those who brought along their favorite bovine.
And for Christy that is Stella.
Christy is a member of the Carson City Arrowhead 4-H Livestock Club who is showing her animals at the Nevada State Fair this week. In addition to learning about how to care for livestock, teens also learn how to spend and save money.
Christy has been to the Nevada State Fair seven times. This year, she is showing two dairy cows – Bluebell and Stella – and a 270-pound pig named Freddy.
Freddy, a fat pink pig with black splotches on his hind end, ran around the front yard of the Carson City home and attempted to burrow into the grass.
“I think it’s a lot of fun raising animals and going to shows,” Christy said. “You always learn about different breeds and cuts of animals.”
This is the first pig she’ll be showing at the fair; usually she shows sheep. Christy is raising money for college and future 4-H projects.
Hannah Works, 15, wants to go to college to become a doctor, and a dairy cow named Clover will help get her there.
The money she gets from selling Clover, that is. The sisters each have about $2,000 saved from 4-H projects.
Clover has a long, scratchy pink-and-gray tongue that grabs for anything in reach. Clover nibbled at grass in the Works’ front yard as Hannah talked. The 8-month-old dairy cow also reached her tongue around to lick Hannah’s jeans. Clover likes to be scratched under her neck.
“I have two diary cows that I’ll be showing Saturday and a market pig,” she said.
The other cow is named William. She’ll sell the two cows privately to ranchers for about $1,600 to $1,800 each.
The pig is a 260-pounder. The profit she’ll make on it depends on its weight and the price per pound; often the kids will get from $800 to $900. Pigs always get a pretty good profit, Hannah said. Cows aren’t as profitable because they cost so much to raise. Thankfully, her parents pay for the hay.
“But cows are my favorite,” the Carson High School teen said. “They’re so friendly. This one follows me wherever I go. Letting go of cows is the hardest. They get attached to you.”
So, how hard is detaching when you know the fate of your four-legged shadow?
“The cows get milked so that’s comforting,” Hannah said. “And the pigs … well, that’s the reality of life so it doesn’t bother me that much.”
Hannah Shaw, 12, is hoping her Mr. Pig, will rake in $2 a pound. The profits from him will add on to the $1,000 in her college savings account.
The Eagle Valley Middle School student isn’t sure if she’ll raise a pig again. It’s a lot of work. Shaw spends 30 minutes a day out walking her pig.
The Arrowhead 4-H club has about 20 members ages 9 to 19. Leader Marena Works said the state fair is the show for diary cows. It also offers more variety of animals for show.
“We have found it to be a great family activity,” she said.
The Carson City Bouncing Bunnies will also take six kids to participate in the state fair, leader Denise Gazell said.
If you go:
What: Nevada State Fair
Where: Reno Livestock Events Center, 1350 N. Wells Ave.
When: 5 p.m.-midnight today and Thursday; noon-midnight Friday and Saturday; noon-11 p.m. Sunday
ON THE NET
For information on the Carson City 4-H livestock club, call Marena Works at 885-2021.
Contact Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.