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69th Annual

Sept. 8-11, 2016 “A Slice of Life, Farm to Fork”


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OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE | AUGUST 25, 2016

Queen Brisa Leep looks forward to County Fair

Katie Teachout/staff photo

2016 Okanogan County Fair Queen Brisa Leep will be showing ‘Zip,’ her 16-year old Quarterhorse at the fair this year. This will be the fourth year she has shown him, and her eighth year participating in the fair. BY KATIE TEACHOUT KATHERINE@GAZETTE-TRIBUNE.COM

The 2016 Okanogan County Fair Queen, Brisa Leep of Tonasket, is looking forward to welcoming visitors to this year’s county fair, ‘A Slice of Life: From Farm to Fork.’ “I would like to invite anyone and everyone to come out and support the youth. It’s going to be a good fair this year, they have been working hard on it,” said Leep. “I’m excited to be representing such a beautiful and unique fair full of very talented and incredible animals, projects, masterpieces and people.” Leep will be participating in the fair for the eighth year in a row, entering exhibits in the photography division and showing her 16-year-old Quarterhorse, Zip, for the fourth year in a row. Leep brought her horse Roxi to the fair

the first four years. Leep said she got into photography through 4-H. “I signed up for a photography program, and I started out with a little digital camera before upgrading to a Canon Rebel T-5. I really enjoy taking pictures, including landscapes and sports photos,” said Leep, adding that she got a lot of helpful advice from local sports photographers Terry Mills and Brent Baker. “My brother Colton was a senior last year, and he played basketball, so I spent a lot of time sitting with them in the gym, and they gave me information about better light settings. It was so awesome to get to talk to them.” A 2014 Tonasket High School graduate, Leep has been taking classes at Spokane Community College, where she will return in the fall for classes in the medical field.

“I am living part time here, traveling back and forth,” said Leep. “I was taking classes last winter and spring, and will return this fall for classes as a radiology tech.” While in Spokane, Leep works at the Country Store. “I hope to stay in this area, I love it and it will forever be home. I grew up here at Spectacle Lake Resort,” said Leep. The resort, owned by her parents Bryce and Teri Leep, is located right on the lake, close to Loomis. “My hobbies of horses and photography keep me pretty busy, along with schooling and work,” said Leep. She said she has enjoyed her year as the 2016 Okanogan County Fair Queen, with one of the highlights of the year being participation in the Omak Stampede. “They have a great hospitality for the queens. They make sure

Katie Teachout/staff photo

Brisa Leep will enter these photographs in the fair. Top photo is a Hereford cross owned by friends Mike and Toni Henneman. Leep took the bottom photo of the Spokane River while attending classes in Spokane this year.

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AUGUST 25, 2016 | OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE

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Tonasket girl will reign in 2017

Cora Diehl to be selected as 2017 Okanogan County Fair Queen BY KATIE TEACHOUT KTEACHOUT@GAZETTE-TRIBUNE.COM

The Okanogan County Fair Queen Pageant, held Thursday (Sept. 8) at 7 p.m., will feature current Queen Brisa Leep and this year’s queen candidate, Cora Diehl. At age 15, Diehl has lived in the highlands of Tonasket her whole life. “I live with my parents, Lesa Sevin and Charlie Diehl, on a mountain homestead where we have raised and cared for dairy goats and sheep, horses, pigs and chickens,” said Diehl, who got her first goat when she was two years old and her pony, Trixie, when she was seven. “Animals have always been a big part of my life. I have two horses, Taxi and Sage, that I love dearly,” said Diehl. “Riding rough

stock and snowboarding gives me an adrenaline rush that I enjoy.” A member in the Range Riders 4-H Club and current Assistant Treasurer of the Tonasket FFA, Diehl’s other hobbies include rodeoing and trail riding horses with her friends, cow riding, playing piano and guitar and drawing. Diehl said prior to joining FFA, she was shy and hadn’t yet learned public speaking skills. “Now, I’ve gained more confidence which has prepared me for leadership opportunities,” said Diehl, adding that the Okanogan County Fair has been a great place for her to learn and grow. “It has always been a wonderful event that I look forward to every

“Fair has been a big impact in my life, and it would be an honor to represent the Okanogan County Fair.” Cora Diehl, Okanogan County Fair Queen Candidate, Tonasket

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year,” said Diehl. “Even before competing, I always attended the fair and admired the exhibits. Then, eight years ago I made the right decision and entered a goat in the Okanogan County Fair and I was hooked. Since then, I have brought goats, horses and artwork; participating as much as I could. Fair has been a big impact in my life, and it would be an honor to represent the Okanogan County Fair.” “I am super excited that Cora decided to run. I know she’s going to be a great representative,” said Royalty Advisor Katie McLean. The 2012 Omak Stampede Queen, McLean reigned as Okanogan County Junior Rodeo Association Queen in 2005 at the age of 14. “This is an awesome opportunity to represent our county,” said McLean. “It’s a fun opportunity for the girls. They get the title and get to participate in parades, and if they are on horseback they get to participate in rodeos, luncheons and community events.” Diehl said she bought her paint horse, Taxi, a year ago. “He will be my queen horse, and he’s coming along nicely,” said Diehl. “I want to invite everyone to come and support Cora and our current queen, Brisa,” said McLean. “We would love to see you at the pageant.” The coronation will be held Sunday, Sept. 11, at 2 p.m.

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Submitted photo

Cora Diehl rode her horse, Taxi, in the Parade of Flags during the Grand Entry of this year’s Omak Stampede.

e Okanogan County h t y Fai njo r “A slice of life, from farm to fork”

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Fun for the entire family! North Valley Hospital recognizes the importance of dedicated farmers that feed our bellies and our souls. We wish all competitors the best and thank all farmers for their valuable contribution to our valley. Let's all get out and support a slice of our rich agricultural community! ~ Sarah Beyler, NVH Dietitian.

North Valley Hospital District 203 S. Western Ave., Tonasket 509-486-2151 www.nvhospital.org


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What’s happening at your county fair? Okanogan County Fair features the classics and more SUBMITTED BY SHEILA CORSON OKANOGAN COUNTY FAIR PUBLICITY

OKANOGAN - September 8 through 11 will feature the classics of Fair – animals, crafts, performers on stage, good food and rodeo. The Rodeo will include barrel riders and team ropers this year. The arena will also feature horse races. Davis Shows carnival will be there, along with a packed Agriplex with other vendors

and informational booths and a packed lawn with a wide variety of treats and meals for fair-goers. This year will also feature extended Kids’ Games on Friday and Saturday. Volunteer groups will be at the south end of the grounds to run some traditional fair games for any children who want to participate for free. There will be sack races, duck races, knock-down pyramid, ring toss and a wet sponge race. Participants get free prizes. Kids can also enjoy some bouncy inflatables this year, mutton busting, and a roaming puppet show. In all your excitement to see the Fair, don’t forget to register! Bring your photographs,

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sewing projects, favorite cookies, best carrots – whatever you’ve got! Registration is open online through noon on Sept. 5 (Labor Day). Paper registration is accepted until 5 p.m. Sept. 2. Premium books with all the guidelines are available in several stores throughout the county, as well as at the Fair office, or online at www.okfair.org. There’s so much happening at the Fair, we can’t put it all in one article. So this is the first of a four-part series to let you know what’s up ahead!

OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE | AUGUST 25, 2016

QUEEN BRISA | FROM A2 we are well taken care of and fed well, and they support us while we are there.The Stampede is a great rodeo, so that was the highlight of my year,” said Leep. “Thursday night (August 11) was kids’ night so the queens helped with that. Friday night we did an arena run in the Grand Entry portion. Saturday was a Queens’ Luncheon at Omak City Hall and then another Grand Entry that night.” Leep said she and Omak Stampede Queen Emily Stevens have a fun history together. “We have held royalty titles together in the past, so it is fun to do this together,” said Leep. “In 2014 I was the Tonasket Rodeo Queen and Emily was the Okanogan County Junior Rodeo Association Queen.” Leep traveled around the county this year, with royalty appearances and involvements in community activities. “I didn’t have to travel too far, just Okanogan, Oroville, Tonasket and Omak,” said Leep. “Being the Okanogan County Fair Queen has been an awesome experience, and I’ve gotten to meet a lot of really cool people.” Leep expressed gratitude for the friends, family members and businesses who have supported her in her role as Okanogan County Fair Queen, including Winfrey Smith, Rawson’s, Madison Shellenberger, Blu Elephant Photography, Sawyer & Sawyer, Inc., Spectacle Lake Resort, Pro Stitch EmbroideryC and Wild Rose Floral. M Y CM MY CY CMY K “They all helped me throughout the year,” said Leep.


AUGUST 25, 2016 | OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE

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Anderson siblings entering chickens in the fair Kylar’s chicken was 2015 Reserve Champion winner BY GARY A. DE VON EDITOR@GAZETTE-TRIBUNE.COM

OROVILLE – Kylar and Colt Anderson, brother and sister from Oroville, will be entering chickens in this year’s Okanogan County Fair. This will be 11-year-old Kylar’s third year entering a chicken, last

year taking a Reserve Champion ribbon for her bird. Her chicken this year is a bantam cochin. In order to enter a high scoring bird, there is a lot involved, according to Kylar. “My favorite part is the fitting and showing,” she says, adding that she is considering dressing up her chicken this year, maybe in a pair of little jeans. Kylar said she does a poster each year to go along with her entry and is helping her younger brother learn what is required for entering a bird in the poultry

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“My Favorite part is the fitting and showing.... I also like the bouncy house and the trampoline.” Kylar Anderson

barn. Along with raising an animal for the fair, she has many good memories of past county fairs and especially likes the carnival and while she doesn’t ride, she says she really enjoys watching other kids in the mutton busting. “I also like the bouncy house and the trampoline,” she said. Her younger brother is threeyears-old, but is already a veteran, having entered a chicken in last year’s fair as well. His chicken, an exotic polish frizzle hen named Bobette, was originally called Bob, but was changed after they learned he was actually a she. Colt doesn’t talk much but it’s obvious he likes his chicken and is excited about going to the fair again this year.

Gary DeVon/staff photo

Kylar and Colt Anderson with their chickens. The sign on the chicken coop reads, “I’ve got OCD ‘Obsessive Chicken Disorder.’”

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OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE | AUGUST 25, 2016

Enjoy A Slice Of Life!

It’s that time of year again. The Stampede is behind us and Labor Day is just around the corner. That can only mean one thing. It’s time for the Okanogan County Fair. As always, the PUD will be taking part in this great community event. Stop by our booth inside the Annex Building to learn about the programs that can help you reduce your energy usage and ultimately save you money. We have evolved from simply distributing power to providing both electrical and broadband services as well as being the go-to source on electrical safety and energy conservation. As in the past, our lineman will be there Thursday, September 8th, for Kids Day and the Youth Pole Climb. We enjoy meeting our customers so please come join us at the Fair September 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th.

Public Utility District No. 1 of Okanogan County 1331 Second Ave. N., Okanogan 509-422-3310 www.okanoganpud.org

See You At The Fair!

AUGUST 25, 2016 | OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 All Day 9:00 a.m. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 10:00 11:30 12 p.m.-3 p.m. 12:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:45 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m.

PUD youth Pole Climb-Food Court area Market Steer Judging-Steer Barn/Market Swine JudgingSwine Barn/Rabbit judging-Rabbit Barn Junior, Intermediate and Senior Horse Fitting and Showing Classes, Youth Halter Classes, and Riding Classes -Rodeo arena and North arena FFA/4-H Produce Judging Contest-Horticulture Building L-Bow the Clown-Rotary Stage FFA Tractor Driving Contest-by the Rodeo arena Manfred the Talking Horse-Rotary Stage Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn Bottle Baby Calf Show-Beef Show ring Market Lamb Judging-Sheep Barn Grade and Purebred Breeding Class-Beef barn Longhorns-Rotary stage Davis Shows Northwest Carnival-North end L-Bow the Clown-Rotary stage Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn Manfred the Talking Horse-Rotary stage Little People Fitting and Showing-Sheep Barn Greg Johnston-Rotary stage Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn Lads and Lassies competition-Sheep barn Cat classes and fashion show-Cat Barn Youth Horsemanship Class-Rodeo arena Fair Queen Pageant-Rotary Stage Fun Flix outdoor movie-south end of the fairgrounds Fairgrounds close

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2016 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Horse Games-Rodeo and North arenas 9:00 a.m. Fairgrounds open to the Public 9:00 a.m. FFA/4-H Livestock Judging followed by Agronomy judging 10:00 a.m. Round Robin Fitting and Showing Contest Small animals-South end 11:00 a.m. Best Dressed Rabbit Contests-Rabbit Barn 11:15 a.m. Manfred the Talking Horse-Rotary stage 11:00 a.m. Round Robin Fitting and Showing Contest-Large animals-South end 12:00 p.m. Randy Linder-Rotary stage 12:30 p.m. Mutton Bustin- North side of the Poultry Barn 1:00 p.m. Horse racing-Grandstand 1:00 p.m. Team roping and Barrel racing-Rodeo arena 2:00 p.m. Longhorns-Rotary stage 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Kids games-South end 2:00 p.m. Poultry Costume contest-Poultry barn 2:45 p.m. Manfred the Talking Horse-Rotary stage 3:00 p.m. Market stock auction-Berg Pavilion 3:00 p.m. Davis Shows Northwest Carnival 3:30 p.m. Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn 3:30 p.m. Randy Linder-Rotary stage 5:15 p.m. Jumpers Flats-Rotary stage 5:30 p.m. Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn 7:00 p.m. Mini Bronc riding and Wild Horse races-Rodeo Arena 7:15 p.m. Rocklyn Road-Rotary stage 9:00 p.m. Jeremy McComb-Rotary stage

www.okanogancountyfair.org

2016 GATE TICKET PRICES To contact Okanogan County Fairgrounds: fair@co.okanogan.wa.us TICKET PRICES COVER ALL EXHIBITS, RODEO, ENTERTAINMENT, HORSE RACING Phone: (509) 422-1621 Fax: (509) 422-1203 AND ENTRANCE TO THE CARNIVAL. (DOES NOTBlue INCLUDE CARNIVAL RIDES). Jeans & Country Dreams! We wish everyone the ALL PRICES PER PERSON EXCEPT FOR 1 DAY FAMILY PASS. Message Phone: (509) 422-7109 Best ofDaily Luck at the Thursday thru Sunday ............. $8.00 Per Person Season Pass. All ages (4 Days) ........$25.00 PO Box 467 175 Rodeo Trail Rd. Okanogan, WA  98840

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2016 9:00 a.m. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 11:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 12:30 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:15 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.

Fitting and Showing classes-ALL Barns Youth Western, Trail, English & Driving classes-Rodeo & N. arenas L-Bow the Clown-Rotary stage Poultry Fitting and Showing-Poultry Barn Manfred the Talking Horse-Rotary stage Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn Randy Linder-Rotary stage Bottle Baby calf show-Beef show ring Kids games-South end Longhorns-Rotary stage Davis Shows Northwest Carnival L-Bow the Clown-Rotary stage Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry barn Rocklyn Road-Rotary stage Dynamic Duos Competition-Sheep Barn Adult Fitting and Showing-Sheep Barn Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn Manfred the Talking Horse-Rotary stage Cat Fitting and Showing-Cat Barn Elite Bull Riding(sanctioned)-Rodeo arena Rabbit Agility-Rabbit Barn Randy Linder-Rotary stage Robbie Walden-Rotary stage Fairgrounds closed

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2016 8:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 11:15 a.m. 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 11:15 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. 12:30 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:45 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 5:15 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:15 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 12:30 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m.

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Cowboy church-Rotary stage Rabbit Barn Awards-Rabbit Barn Parade of Champions-Rotary stage Davis Shows Northwest Carnival Horse Races-north end Longhorns-Rotary stage Horse Games-Rodeo and North arenas Fairgrounds open to the Public FFA/4-H Livestock Judging followed by Agronomy judging Round Robin Fitting and Showing Contest Small animals-S. end Best Dressed Rabbit Contests-Rabbit Barn Manfred the Talking Horse-Rotary stage Round Robin Fitting and Showing Contest-Large animals-S. end Randy Linder-Rotary stage Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn Horse racing-Grandstand Team roping and Barrel racing-Rodeo arena Longhorns-Rotary stage Kids games-South end Poultry Costume contest-Poultry barn Manfred the Talking Horse-Rotary stage Market stock auction-Berg Pavilion Davis Shows Northwest Carnival Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn Randy Linder-Rotary stage Jumpers Flats-Rotary stage Mutton Bustin-north side of the Poultry Barn Mini Bronc riding and Wild Horse races-Rodeo arena Rocklyn Road-Rotary stage Jeremy McComb-Rotary stage Mood Swings-Rotary stage Kids horse playday-rodeo arena Sign-ups for Mutton Bustin Finals-north side of Poultry Barn Mutton Bustin Championship-north side of the Poultry barn Fur and Feather Auction-Berg Pavilion Camperos Dancing horses-grandstand Okanogan County Fair Queen Coronation-Rotary stage Fair closes - Fairgrounds closed, Fair over!

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OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE | AUGUST 25, 2016

Ramons continue a family tradition Third generation of Ramons will be in the steer barn at this year’s fair BY KATIE TEACHOUT KTEACHOUT@GAZETTE-TRIBUNE.COM

Four Ramons will be bringing steer to the Okanogan County Fair this year, a family tradition. The Ramons have been showing steer at the Okanogan County Fair for at least three generations, with Jessie and Maisie Ramon starting at the age of five, and their younger siblings Jade and Maggie beginning with bottle calves at the age of three. “We’ve been going to the fair for years. I went and my dad went,” said Stacie Ramon. “He showed steers, and when I went at that time you could do more than one thing so I did sheep, pigs and steers.” The Ramons live and work at the Ellis Barnes Livestock Ranch in Tonasket, owned by Stacie’s

parents, Bob and Nancy Barnes. The families raise an Angus cross, and each of the four Ramon children have earned Grand Champion or Reserve Champion at least once. “Jessie won two times back to back for Market Steer, and they have all won grand or reserve for fitting and showing,” said Stacie. “Maggie won last year for fitting and showing.” Maggie, age eight, also enjoys entering the baking, flowers and photography divisions; taking Grand Champion one year for a batch of brownies. Photographs she’s entered in the past included some sports shots and pictures of branding the steers. “They enter pictures of things the kids do here around the ranch,” said Stacie. “They will be working, and one of them will grab the camera.” The kids choose their calves when they are weaned at about nine months of age, and start working with them when they are about a year old. “If it’s one of our grandpa’s calves, he keeps them in the feed lot for awhile, but if it’s one of

our dad’s we pick them right off the cow when they are weaned,” said Jade, age 11. “We choose the one that looks best body-wise, sometimes color-wise.” Asked what “working with

“It’s a lot of work but they always say they wouldn’t trade it for anything, once they get to the fair. Stacie Ramon, mother and former fair participant

them” entailed, Jessie, a junior at Tonasket High School replied, “When you feed them, you make them stand still while you stand with them and they get used to you being there with them. Then you put a halter on them, and begin brushing them.” The kids walk their steer around every evening before feeding them and practice with them. “They like to give them lots of

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baths, and washing them down helps calm them down,” said Stacie. Jessie said his favorite thing about taking on a steer as a fair project was getting to the fair. “It’s all worth it once you get them to the fair,” said Jessie. Maisie, a freshman at Tonasket, said what she enjoyed most was “getting them ready to go and show, washing them down and blow drying them.” “Blow drying their hair makes it fluffy and easy to brush,” said Maisie. Maggie said showing the steers was her favorite. “You go around the outside of the pen, and then make them stand in lines and the judge comes around and asks you questions, things like how much you feed them every day.” Entering the steer in classes by weight, the Ramons said the steer were judged on the way they are framed; long or short, and how fat and healthy they are. Asked about any near-disasters in the showing pen, Jade said one time his steer stepped on his ankle when he was showing him. “But Jessie was showing once and a snake went up his leg,” said

Jade. Everyone’s eyes lit up with that memory. After clarifying the snake went up the steer’s leg, not his own, Jessie said it was just a small bull snake. “The steer didn’t even know, so I grabbed it and threw it over the fence,” recalled Jessie. Maisie said the most challenging part of showing steer was “how to set their feet when you’re showing.” “You have to get them used to that,” said Maisie. Asked what words of encouragement they would give to kids considering taking on the project of a steer at fair, Jade said he would advise kids to work with the steer a lot before the fair. “Make sure they know how to eat and drink out of a bucket, because they’re not used to eating like that away from home,” advised Maggie. “It’s a lot of responsibility,” said Stacie. “Two times a day they’re feeding and caring for them. But it’s worth it once they get there. It’s a lot of work but they always say they wouldn’t trade it for anything, once they get to the fair.”

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AUGUST 25, 2016 | OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE

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Katie Teachout/staff photos

Above, Maisie Ramon, a freshman at Tonasket High School, started participating in the Okanogan County Fair at the age of five. She lives and works at the family-owned Ellis Barnes Livestock Ranch, where they raise Angus Cross cattle. This year she will be showing a steer named ‘Bolt,’ pictured above. Maisie said her favorite part of the fair was getting her animals ready to show, including washing them down and blow drying their hair. Right, Eight-year-old Maggie Ramon poses with her steer, ‘Big Black,’ whom she will be showing at the fair this year. Maggie started participating in the fair at the age of three, and has gone on to enter projects in the baking, flowers and photography divisions. She earned championships for a batch of brownies she baked one year, and with a steer she showed last year.

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OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE | AUGUST 25, 2016

Katie Teachout/staff photos

Above, Jessie Ramon poses with ‘Rick,’ the steer he will be showing at this year’s county fair. A junior at Tonasket High School, Jessie has been participating in the fair since he was five-years-old, taking the championship for Market Steer two years in a row. Right, 11-year-old Jade Ramon first began participating in the fair with a bottle calf at the age of three. This year he will be showing ‘Mack.’ Jade advises anyone considering taking a steer to the fair to “work with the steer a lot before the fair.”

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Good Luck to all Okanogan County Fair Participants!

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Come see us at FAIR!

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AUGUST 25, 2016 | OKANOGAN VALLEY GAZETTE-TRIBUNE

11

Wilsons head to the County Fair

Siblings are fifth generation on family owned ranch BY KATIE TEACHOUT KTEACHOUT@GAZETTE-TRIBUNE.COM

Katie Teachout/staff photo

Garrett Wilson lets his pig take a rest in the shade after a jaunt around the yard. Garrett and Whitney Wilson

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have been taking animals to the Okanogan County Fair since they were little. This year Garrett, a sophomore at Tonasket High School will be taking a Hampshire Cross pig and Whitney, an eighth grader, will be attending with an Angus cross steer named ‘Frankie.’ Frankie will be a year and a half when the fair rolls around and Garrett’s pig, whom he thought he might name ‘Bacon,’ will be about six months old. “He was born March 3, and the goal is to have them about six months of age at the fair,” said Garrett. “They pick them by their shape when they are little,” said Bobby Wilson. “We have the moms right here, so they get to pick out their own.” The Wilsons sell pigs to other area kids to take to the fair each year, and this year they have about 35 piglets. The Wilsons are the fifth generation on a cattle ranch in McLaughlin Canyon. “My great-grandfather bought the place on a squatter’s right,” said Jon Wilson. The long-standing homestead and ranch was almost taken out by last year’s

wildfires, cutting into their production. “We normally wean steers in November, but because of the fires last year we weaned them early, in September,” said Jon. “We sold a bunch of cows early, with no grass and nowhere to keep them.” “We lost all the spring and fall pasture,” said Bobby, “but we have all our buildings. We worked really hard this fall rebuilding fences.” The Wilsons keep chickens, pigs, goats, dogs, horses, ducks and peacocks, “everything you need to run a family farm,” said Bobby. “Everything but sheep,” added Garrett. The kids work with their animals daily, attempting to set their feet right and raise their heads. “The kids keep eye contact with the judges when they are showing their animals, and have to demonstrate control,” said Bobby. They walk their animals two times a day, with Garrett marching his pig on a quarter-mile hike up and down a hill behind the pen, and Whitney cruising around the grounds with her steer. When it comes time to show

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Katie Teachout/staff photo

Whitney Wilson will be taking a steer to the fair for the fifth year in a row. This one, an Angus cross steer, is named ‘Frankie.’ the animals at the fair, “they shave and clip and groom the steers all the way down to using a blow dryer,” said Bobby. This is Whitney’s fifth steer after taking a bucket calf her first year. “Garrett used to take steers, but switched to pigs. Whitney took a guinea pig when she was little,” said Bobby. “Kids can’t sell until they are eight years old, so the first years they took bucket

calves, an orphaned calf you raise on a bottle. When kids are five or six a steer is too big to handle. Other kids often start out with a chicken or a rabbit.” Whitney said her favorite part of having a fair project was “being able to spend the whole week camped there.” Garrett agreed, saying his favorite part was “getting to spend the week with my friends.”

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Enjoy the Okanogan County Fair!

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County Fair - Okanogan County Fair 2016  

i2016082318021589.pdf

County Fair - Okanogan County Fair 2016  

i2016082318021589.pdf