Pixel Tracker

Saturday, November 17 , 2018, 2:44 pm | Fair 67º


Youth Handlers Settle In with Their Livestock Projects at Santa Barbara County Fair

FFA, 4-H and Junior Grange members arrive for weigh-ins ahead of this week's championship drive and auction at the Santa Maria Fairpark

With the hectic pace of Sunday’s arrival behind them, FFA, 4-H and Junior Grange members and their livestock projects waited patiently for their turns at Monday’s weigh-in at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

“It’s kind of exciting and sad,” Cierra Green of the Lompoc FFA said as she sat in the pen quietly petting her sleeping pig, Darla, on Monday morning.

Nearby, Edgar Ayala was more than ready to brag about Rosanne, his 262-pound swine project.

“I have to say she’s the best pig I’ve had in all four years I’ve been doing this,” Edgar said. “She’s just so obedient. She’s just a beautiful pig to me.”

Although the 2014 Santa Barbara  County Fair doesn’t open until Wednesday, the FFA, 4-H and Junior Grange members who entered animals in the junior livestock events got an early start. They arrived Sunday at the fairpark.

Weigh-in plus a quick check by a veterinarian are crucial hurdles for the animals and those who raised them.

“If you don’t make weight, you go home,” said Candy Evenson, junior livestock superintendent.

As she watched the cattle waiting to be weighed, she noted they look good even with the drought.

“If you look at the cattle out there, they look beautiful,” she said as animals and their handlers waited in the chute for weigh-in.

The championship drive starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday followed by the Junior Livestock Auction all day Saturday.

livestock fair
Old Town Orcutt 4-H member Ryan Righetti and Chrome wait for their turn on the scale for weigh-in day at the Santa Barbara County Fair in Santa Maria. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

This year, the fair has 692 market pigs, about 100 fewer than last year.

“Everything else is up,” Evenson said.

Also entered are 286 market lambs, 37 breeding lambs, 41 breeder pigs, 83 market goats, 82 replacement heifers, 74 steers, 50 breeding cattle, 33 breeding boar goats, 68 dairy cattle and 17 pygmy goats.

Carpinteria-based Playa Del Sur 4-H brought five steers and three lambs to the fair along with nine members.

“It’s actually my last year so it’s bittersweet,” Crystal Arroyo of Carpinteria said.

Raising steers is an eight-month project, so club members build a rapport with their animals, she noted.

“What I really enjoy about it is meeting new people,” said A.J. Martinez of Playa Del Sur 4-H, adding that he also has learned responsibility and finances through his steer project.

He works two jobs to help purchase feed and supplies.

“My parents offered to help me but I chose not to,” he said.

Playa Del Sur leader Ron Vieira said the program teaches respect and responsibility to the youths, plus he has seen them improve their social and public-speaking skills.

“They’re all incredible kids,” he said.

Vieira said he used to believe he helped the kids raise the livestock.

“This year, I came to realize I’m helping the livestock raise better kids,” he said.

The Santa Barbara County Fair open Wednesday and runs through Sunday with gates open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

For more information, click here.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >