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Alaska Life

Photos: Livestock competition draws kids to the ring at the Alaska State Fair

  • Author: Marc Lester
  • Updated: August 31, 2019
  • Published August 29, 2019

Sheep are presented to the judge. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Kids presented their livestock in the Alaska State Fair barn during the 4H breeding competition on Thursday. It was the second of three days of 4H livestock competition, which involves more than 80 kids from third to 12th grade. Lee Hecimovich, the 4H youth development agent for the Mat-Su / Copper River district, said it’s a special moment for the participants. “This is kind of the culmination event for their animals,” Hecimovich said. “And whether they’re auctioning (them) or not, it’s still exciting to see them in the ring and see how they placed.”

Thursday’s breeding competition included goats, sheep, swine and cattle. Callista Whitlatch, of Palmer, said she bottle-raised her pig, which is now 315 pounds. “I love the excitement of competing, but also agriculture,” she said.

Her mother, Bethony Whitlatch, said the 4H program has other benefits too. She has encouraged all of her eight kids to be involved, she said.

“It keeps them off of internet and iPad so much,” she said. “They learn hard skills.”

4H livestock competition continues Friday at the Alaska State Fair.

Kade Harmon, 9, left, and his brother Ty Harmon, 13, prepare their swine for competition. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Kayleena Roberts waits during goat judging. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Swine are presented during the 4H livestock breeding competition. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Callista Whitlatch, left, laughs with Seth Shelden as Whitlatch waits to compete in sheep and swine competitions at the Alaska State Fair. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Atti Jo Tormey steadies her sheep for judging. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Kewaunee Repnow, of Palmer, dries her goat, Faith, before the 4H competition. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Lois Repnow, left, braids her daughter Yaquina Repnow's hair before the judging begins. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Robert Whitlatch peeks between information desplays to watch the competition in the ring. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Makenna Chin, 13, cuddles her pigs Galileo, left, and Phoebe, before she shows them at the Alaska State Fair. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Goats are presented for judging. (Marc Lester / ADN)
A competitor receives a ribbon for her goat. (Marc Lester / ADN)