Fair Kids – A hot opening day

#aglife is a County 10 series, brought to you by Bailey’s Pit Stop Travel Centers, that pulls the curtain back on farm and ranch life in Fremont County.

“It’s been a lot of work,” Marlee Maxson said of her first day at the Fremont County Fair. Marlee and her brother Brekken are showing a pair of goats in their first fair experience.

They’re both members of the “Fun Helping Hands” 4H Club of Riverton and had just arrived on a blisteringly, hot Sunday afternoon with Diego and Buckley, their goats.

Tucked away in a pen near the middle of the livestock barns at the fairgrounds, Diego, a brown Boer goat, and Buckley, a white, mixed breed were relaxed, trying to catch a breeze.

Buckley and Diego a pair of goats shown by Marlee and Brekken Maxson {h/t Randy Tucker}

“The hardest thing is keeping them cool,” Brekken said.

The Maxson kids were keeping a close watch on their goats, with straw laid out neatly in the pen, and water always nearby.

Later, Brekken took Buckley out for a walk to cool him off.

Brekken Maxson took his Boer goat Buckley out for a walk {h/t Randy Tucker}

As they tended to their goats, their friend Grady Chambers came by the pen.

Grady is a seasoned veteran in his second year of showing hogs, but this is his first year at the Fremont County Fair. He competed at the county fair in Helena, Montana last year before his parents Miles and Bo Peterson moved back to a place north of Riverton.

Grady is showing a pair of Hampshire hogs, good-sized market hogs tipping the scales around 300 pounds each.

On the front of the hog pen are a pair of creatively crafted name tags with “Billy the Kid” and “Little Girl” written on them, the names of Grady’s hogs.

Pig showman Grady Chambers tended to his pair of Hampshire hogs {h/t Randy Tucker}

Grady shared the Maxson’s concern about the heat. Hogs are especially susceptible to hot weather and without the option of cooling off in mud or a nearby pond they can overheat quickly.

“The heat and the stress of everyone running around is a challenge,” Grady said.

It looked like a challenge he had met well with his pair of Hampshire hogs relaxing in their pen near the middle of the hog barn.

Showing pigs is a bit different than goats, sheep, or cattle. A pig needs to be guided rather than led around the ring with a halter.

In swine production, you look for length, width of the hams, and a flat stomach with a strong arching back.

“Picking a good one is hard,” Grady said. He picked his pair of show hogs from 307 Genetics in Powell, a well-known breeder of quality pigs earlier in the year.

Marlee, Grady and Brekken stood in front of the goat pen {h/t Randy Tucker}

It was just the opening few hours of the fair for Marlee and Brekken Sunday afternoon. They enter the ring with their goats on Tuesday, while Grady will show on Wednesday.

Marlee and Brekken are the children of Mike and Brandi Maxson of Riverton.

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