Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion 4H member Katya Correa pins a blue ribbon over the pen of her champion medium-wieght pig Storm during the small-stock showing of the Kenai Peninsula State Fair at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds on Friday, August 21.

Local livestock gets a fair judging

This weekend the Ninilchik Fairground is the site of the Kenai Peninsula Fair, providing an opportunity for local livestock-raising families and rodeo-riders to display their animals and skills.

The fair’s livestock showing began Friday with the judging of smaller animals — poultry, sheep, and pigs — while larger livestock such as horses and cows were judged on Saturday. Members of the Kenai Peninsula 4-H club guided their animals into an arena pen, where they paraded them in front of judges. On Friday evening, 4-H’ers used canes to nudge their pigs into line while adult volunteers wielding plywood sheets blocked out-of-control animals and broke up the occasional pig-fight.

4-H club member Katya Correa won a blue ribbon for her medium-weight pig Storm.

“I’ve been in 4-H showing pigs for 6 years,” Correa said. “The fair is my favorite part, and just being able to raise the pigs and show them is fun.”

Storm came from a pig breeder in California, and Correa said she fed him according to a routine: every day at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Storm received a full bucket of food. The exercise required to turn that food into meat was up to Storm.

“We had a big outside pen,” Correa said. “They exercise themselves pretty much.”

After the Friday judging, Correa said her pig would be marketed Saturday.

4-H club member Ella Rankin brought her pair of geese, Mister and Missus, for Friday’s poultry showcase. Judging required the birds to stand still on a table while being be examined.

“Sometimes he gets so excited he jumps off the table,” Rankin said of Mister.

Rankin said Mister weighed 13 pounds, but was still far from his full-grown weight, which she guessed would be 35 pounds. She described her geese as free-range, but said they do not wander far, instead preferring to splash in a shallow pond. Although normally calm, the geese tend to be stimulated by the surrounding people and animals at the fair. As for herself, Rankin said the judging gave her a similar mix of nervousness and excitement.

“It’s like a freaky Christmas,” Rankin said of the poultry show.

Friday’s fair also included two rodeo events: barrel-racing and calf-roping. The Kenai Peninsula Fair is the penultimate event of the Alaska Rodeo summer program, which ends September 5 with a competition in Palmer. The summer-long rodeo series also included Soldotna’s Progress Days rodeo.

The fair concludes Sunday with further rodeo events, performances by musicians Washboard Willy and Lloyd, Alaskan Native singer Byron Nikolai, and magician Steve the Pretty Good.

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com

Ben Boettger/Peininsula Clarion A group of hogs enters the arena, followed by their handlers, for a livestock judging during the Kenai Peninsula State Fair at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds on Friday, August 21.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion 4H member Bailey Epperheimer brushes her pigs in preparation for a showing during the Kenai Peninsula State Fair at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds on Friday, August 21.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion 4H member Skyler Shadle brushes his pig in preparation for a showing during the Kenai Peninsula State Fair at the Ninilchik Fair Ground on Friday, August 22.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion David Bower (foreground, with laso) and Steve Cook chase down a calf during the calf-roping competition at the Kenai Peninsula State Fair on Friday, August 22.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Brothers Grayden (top) and Golden Musgrave bounce on the bungee trampoline at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds during the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, August 21.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Grayden Musgrave reaches the peak of his bounce on a bungee trampoline at the Ninilchik Fair Ground during the Kenai Peninsula State Fair on Friday, August 22.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion 4H member Ella Rankin practices displaying her goose Mister for judging in the poultry barn of the Ninilchik Fairgrounds during the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, August 21. Although poultry showing makes her nervous, Rankin said she also enjoys the excitement. “It’s like a freaky Christmas,” she said.

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