Family is binding tie at Sublette County Fair

Joy Ufford photos 065: Kellum Carnahan and brother McKaul Carnahan, center, show off their Grand Champion and Reserve Champion steers respectively with, from left, their sister McKenna, father Brad, judge Curtis Doubet, mother Brenda, Kristi Wardell and Jared Walker with special jackets for the winning breeder, Carnahan Cattle Company. 063: Judge Courtney Griffith stands with Junior Livestock Show Grand Champion Hays Espenscheid, right, and Reserve Champion Zach Maxam, left. 025: Bondurant rancher Steve Robertson and grandson Tristan with his home-bred and raised steer Rudy. 014: Big brother Zach Maxam helps his sister Tylynn Knotts with her first-ever show steer. 073: Evelyn Jones and Brandon Jones get support with their commercial heifers from Jolynn Jones.

Everyone hustles to help each other at the fair, with all of the exhibits and animals shining as examples of the binding ties of friendship and family. Because my life revolves more around raising beef a little more than the other meat and companion animals that are fed, trained and shown, I caught several memorable moments of that camaraderies.

First let me tout the winners of two very wonderful contests, where every single steer that I saw would be welcome in my freezer!

The judges, Courtney Griffith for the 4-H / FFAMarket Beef contests and for the Sublette and LaBarge Bred & Raised Show – both emphasized that the kids showing their projects should remember to thank family and friends who helped make their county fair efforts possible. Both commented on the high quality of the beef on hoof as kids nervously or nonchalantly made their ways around the Event Center arena under the judges’ sharp eyes.

Congratulations to Junior Market Steer class winners Melissa Layne, Bailey Wing, Jolien Robertson, Hays Espenscheid, Blake Mergl, Matazi Landers, Daisy Rogers, Ryker Cummings, Kellum Carnahan, Jace Bowles, Shane Rogers and Zach Maxam.

At the end, Hays Espenscheid was named Grand Champion and Zach Maxam Reserve Champion.

Saturday’s Sublette and LaBarge Bred & Raised contest – in its 17th year – had added money for entrants thanks to generous donors supporting the local kids and their families who breed, raise and market their own beef cattle.

Again the steers’ quality showed our local ranchers’ best of intentions with market steers that could stand up anywhere and get noticed. The event was sponsored by the Green River Valley Cattlemen’s Association, Farm Credit Services and 1st Bank of Pinedale.

The eight class winners were Evelyn Jones and Rojo from Sims Ranch, Phoebe Jones with Ushi from the Sims Ranch, Jolien Robertson with George from the Robertson Ranch, Maddi Landers with Little Blacky from Murdock Land and Cattle, McKaul Carnahan with Buckwheat from Carnahan Cattle Company, Ryker Cumming with Batman from the Milleg Ranch, Sage Hood with Elvis from Grant Ranches and Kellum Carnahan with Bartly from Carnahan Cattle Company.

Judge Curtis Doubet pointed out, “There’s not one steer that walks away with it,” with each one a great example of the quality of breeding to be found in Sublette County and LaBarge.

In the end he pointed to his “favorite” and named Kellum Carnahan with Bartly as Grand Champion. After more deliberation, he selected McKaul Carnahan’s Buckwheat as Reserve Champion. The two pair had their pictures taken many times with dad Brad, mom Brenda and sister McKenna along with dignitaries.

Joy Ufford photos 065: Kellum Carnahan and brother McKaul Carnahan, center, show off their Grand Champion and Reserve Champion steers respectively with, from left, their sister McKenna, father Brad, judge Curtis Doubet, mother Brenda, Kristi Wardell and Jared Walker with special jackets for the winning breeder, Carnahan Cattle Company. 063: Judge Courtney Griffith stands with Junior Livestock Show Grand Champion Hays Espenscheid, right, and Reserve Champion Zach Maxam, left. 025: Bondurant rancher Steve Robertson and grandson Tristan with his home-bred and raised steer Rudy. 014: Big brother Zach Maxam helps his sister Tylynn Knotts with her first-ever show steer. 073: Evelyn Jones and Brandon Jones get support with their commercial heifers from Jolynn Jones.

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