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— 42nd Annual Bi-County Fair —

“Bring a can” By Donald Jaramillo Beacon Managing Editor

CIBOLA COUNTY - 'Bring a can' - that is the message from the Bi-County Fair board members. The fair starts on Thursday, Sept. 2, at noon, as children and adults sign in their items and will end on Monday with a bang. "We like to give back to the community," said Sheila Robinson, board member. Robinson represents Cibola County on the board. "We are encouraging all

fair visitors to bring a non-perishable food item. Everything collected will be donated to the community food pantries in Cibola and McKinley Counties." There will be several decorative big boxes at the event where people could drop off their food donations. "You won't be able to miss them (the boxes)," Robinson added. “The board earlier this year donated $300 to the pantry.” The Bi-County Fair board representation is split between Cibola and McKinley County. Five per-

sons on the board are from Cibola County, according to Robinson. The mission is the same as it was 42 years ago. "Adults volunteering time and money to give a platform for 4-H Club members and adults to exhibit various agricultural skills and artistic talents, win prizes and possibly sell their items," said Robinson. "It's all about the children just like it was when several families years ago got together because See BRING A CAN, next page

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some children couldn't afford to attend the fair in Belen. The fair is about children, education and families.� The first Bi-County Fair was held at Ambrosia Lake. Years later it was moved to its current location at Prewitt. "As quick as the money comes in from buyers and sponsors it quickly goes back out," Robinson explained. "We make just enough to start the next year's event and a big percentage goes right back to the children. Thankfully, the businesses and residents of both counties have been great supporters over the years." It costs the approximately $100,000 each year. This year's highlights include: a horseshoe pitching contest on Saturday and a Western dance that evening and a DJ on Sunday night. (See schedule on Page Two).

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Getting ready for the big fair . . .

BEACON / COURTESY

Cibola County 4-H members help get the grounds ready for the Bi-County Fair.

The horseshoe contest was moved to a different day in order to get more participation. "It used

to be a big event but it's dwindled down. We are hoping by moving it to Saturday more people will get


involved," said Robinson. Entry fee is $10 per event. The fair rodeo committee is hosting Saturday's dance and the 4-Hers are hosting Sunday's. "We are excited about the dances and everyone is welcome," said Robinson. There is a charge for Saturday’s dance, however, there is no charge for Sunday's. Board members are expecting a great livestock sale this year based on the effort the children have put into their projects. Robins said, "The children are really enthusiastic this year. I'm really excited about it." The 4-H Club children are given the opportunity to register their animals for the fair and hopeful sell them during the event, whether it be during the livestock show or afterward, "The goal is to get them sold," said Robinson, whose grandchildren participate each year. A percentage from the animal sales goes to the fair to help pay for hosting the event. Children buy their steers in November or early December and pigs, goats and lambs are purchased in March or April. The idea is the for them to raise a quality animal that could be sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars at the fair. Last years top steers sold for nearly $2,500 while top pigs sold for approximately $2,000. The big livestock sale is on Sunday, Sept. 4, at 1 p.m. Robinson said if she had to choose a favorite event it would be the Pet Show and Stick Horse Race on Sunday. "The event is free and it gets the little ones involved," said Robinson. "However, I love it all.� Be sure to set time aside between Friday, Sept. 2 and Monday (Labor Day), Sept.5, to take the family and check out the fair and rodeo. There is fun for all ages and it is for a good cause - the children of Cibola and McKinley County. For more information: For more information about the Bi-County Fair, call Robinson at 287-0455. Or, for more information on the Saturday barrel race or Sunday and Monday rodeos, call 290-0977 or 1-505-864-9426. If you are interested in joining the 4H Club in either county, call Chase Elkins at the Cibola County Extension Office at 287-9266. A child needs to be five-years-old or older in order to participate in the program. The extension office is located at 551 Washington Avenue at Future Foundations Family Center.

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— Bi-County Fair —

Raising piglets teaches responsibility By Bob Tenequer Beacon Staff Writer

MILAN - If there is one thing that Jasmine Hobbs, 14, president of the 4-H Council has learned from her involvement in 4-H it is “responsibility.” Commenting on her involvement in 4-H Hobbs said, “It’s a lot of work…but it’s good…because as you get older it teaches you responsibilities.” Hobbs, a Milan resident, will be showing five pigs, two Hampshires and three mixed breeds at the 2011 Bi-County Fair. She has raised pigs from piglets to full

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grown pigs with each weighing between 120-170 pounds. Hobbs said, “you have to be responsible for keeping the pig pens clean, feeding and watering the pigs; you basically have to raise them all by yourself.” According to Ruby Hobbs, her daughter starts her day at 5 a.m. She has to water and feed the pigs before she goes to school and in the evening she washes and walks the pigs and works at preparing them for “showing.” Hobbs expressed excitement in participating in this year’s fair, “I enjoy showing in the ring.” The goal of 4-H is to develop


citizenship, leadership, and life skills for youth through mostly hands on learning programs. Hobbs has been involved in 4-H for nine years and started out as a cloverbud. She will be entering her livestock into in the Junior Category, swine show. Hobbs said she likes raising pigs because “they are cute when they are little, and they still require some work, but they are a little bit easier to work with. With all the extra stuff I do, raising pigs is a little easier on me.” She particularly likes the Hampshire breed because of the bands around their bodies.

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“The kids involved in 4-H are really good kids. . . My parents’ support is so important because they know how important 4-H is in my life.” — Jasmine Hobbs

Besides being the president of the 4-H council, Hobbs plays on the volleyball team for Grants High School where she is a freshman. “Raising the pigs is expensive,” according to Hobbs. She said it probably cost around $500 to buy feed for the five pigs. She started the pigs out with grower feed and switched to corn to fatten them up and then fed them finisher feed. Hobbs plans to sell the pigs she has raised, “Hopefully with the sales I will be able to pay my dad back,” she said optimistically. The 4-H president said she had to keep a record book from the time she started raising the pigs. The book contained information regarding how much each animal weighed, how much weight it gained, how much the feed cost and how much was fed and pictures of the animals, among other pertinent information. She said at the end of the year 4-H members turn in these record books and receive awards from the 4-H council. Hobbs said she has been raising the pigs for the fair show since February. Jasmine’s mother said, “The kids involved in 4-H are really good kids.” She expressed pride in supporting her daughter’s involvement. “My parents support is so important because they know how important 4-H is in my life,” said Hobbs.

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— Bi-County Fair —

Two cloverbuds say they are ready By Aubrey Ashbaugh Beacon Staff Writer

CIBOLA COUNTY - As the BiCounty Fair creeps closer, many of the young competitors have started gearing up, grooming and working with their animals as they prepare their entries for the Bi-County Fair. Two local competitors, Faith Bohannan and Tamara Hogg, have both worked long and hard to prepare their animals for the upcoming event. Bohannan and Hogg compete in the five-to-nine-year age group. The two are required to do both an indoor project and an outdoor

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project. They received their animals in April and have until the September event to feed, graze, clean, and prepare their livestock for showing. They are judged on the look of the animal itself, their knowledge of the animal, as well as presentation and showmanship for livestock entry plus their indoor projects. Each youngster earns grade points for their indoor projects and for their livestock projects. Hogg, eight years old, will be showing a rabbit and a chicken. Her indoor project consists of a rope basket, a piggy bank and plaster hand prints. This is Hogg’s first year competing and she is very excited.

“She’s been feeding and working with her animals everyday. She feeds them every morning, and plays with them every afternoon to help calm their nerves before the event,” said Tammy, her mother. Hogg is very active in the 4-H club and the Cloverbud Club. She’s helped with many fundraisers and plans to take part in the upcoming pie auction. The young club member received the Overall Cloverbud Buckle at the Welcome Cloverbud event a couple of weeks ago, according to her mother. Bohannan, 11, is competing in the novice age group at the BiCounty Fair and plans to show


“She’s been feeding and working with her animals everyday. She feeds them every morning, and plays with them every afternoon to help calm their nerves before the event,”

— Tamara Hogg’s mother

“She’s really excited and has done a lot of work to help prepare her animals for September.”

— Faith Bohannon’s mother two sheep and one pig. She is required to feed, walk, and raise them before the event. Her indoor projects include sewing, knitting, snacks, ceramics, denim and gardening. This will be Bohannan’s fourth year competing and she is hoping to take the overall prize. Last year she placed third with her sheep and first with her pig. “She’s really excited and has done a lot of work to help prepare her animals for September,” said her mother Heidi. Bohannan is a very active 4-H Club member and participates in regular community service clean-up projects with the organization. Just like all the youngsters preparing their animals for the fair, Bohannan and Hogg said they look forward to seeing some of the competition. The Bi-County fair will take place Sept. 1-5 at Prewitt.

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— OPEN EXHIBITS —

Variety spices up annual fair By Rosanne Boyett Beacon Staff Writer

CIBOLA COUNTY - Plants, quilting and photography are just a few of the entries featured at the annual Bi-County Fair, according to Delores Meador, exhibits’ building coordinator. “I love to see the young people’s entries,” she said. “They always come up with interesting ideas.” Meador pointed out that the Open Exhibits’ building is dedicated to a variety of competition classes including: fruits, vegetables, quilting and other fabric arts, photography, plus arts and crafts

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and other categories. “We’ve had popsicle castles and houses built out of marbles,” she recalled. “There used to be several people who would enter their porcelain doll collections but we haven’t seen any of those in the past few years,” continued Meador. Anticipating future fair exhibits she said, “I’m hoping that there will be enough community interest to initiate a doll-making class. When people used to enter dolls there were always a lot fairgoers who would come to look at the exhibits. I would hear a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.”


Another category that has lost popularity in recent years is tatting, according to Meador. She noted that there was only one lace-making entry last year. Many other fiber arts’ categories receive multiple entries each year from area artisans. There are always numerous displays of residents’ crocheted, knitted, embroidered and quilted pieces. “The Mount Taylor Quilt Guild members always show some of their work,” noted Meador, a dedicated fiber artist. She is a member of the Mount Taylor group and the Gallup quilt guild. She acknowledged that three of her quilts will be judged at this year’s fair. “I made one twin bed quilt, a double-bed and one queen-size quilt,” explained the fiber artist. “I did appliqué and embroidery work on them.” Meador is planning to complete a Cathedral Window quilt to enter in this year’s competition if time permits. “Most quilters using that pattern rely on a foldand-tack method of construction but I made my own pattern so I could use my sewing machine.” Meador continues to be a dedicated fan of the annual fair and wears more than one hat – she takes part in the handwork competitions and is one of the judges for a separate class of entries. “I help judge the arts and crafts,” she said, “so I don’t enter anything in that category.” The judge said she has done her duty for the past three years, “I’m hoping they will ask me to judge arts and crafts again this year.”

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2011 Bi-County Fair

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— STICK HORSE RACE —

No Trojan horses, just friendly competition By Rosanne Boyett Beacon Staff Writer

CIBOLA COUNTY – The Sunday morning rivalry is fierce but it’s all in good-natured fun, according to Bi-County Fair officials. “The Stick Horse race is open to children and adults,” said Tina Robinson, event organizer. There are five categories, based on age group, including one reserved for residents who are 55 years and older, according to the organizer. “The adults are just as interested in winning as the youngsters,” she laughed. “Everyone gets a gift bag and each category’s winners are

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awarded a belt buckle.” Usually there are approximately 100 participants each year, explained Robinson who has been overseeing the races since 2003. “This is such a fun event and there are always five to seven entries in the adult category,” she said. Volunteers make 20-25 stick horses in advance but participants can ride their own “horses” if they choose. There are numerous, generous area sponsors that make this event possible said Robinson. The competition starts at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. Sept. 4. “The stick horse race is my favorite part of the fair,” noted

Robinson, “and each year we start planning it three to four months in advance.” She pointed out that the day’s activities draw large crowds, especially friends and families who want to demonstrate their support for youngsters’ taking part in the race and the pet show, which is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. “The pet show lets children, who are too young to be 4-H members, enter the fair,” said Robinson. “They bring everything from crickets, pot-bellied pigs, ducks, bunnies, miniature donkeys, llamas, miniature horses and lots of cats and dogs. One youngster even en-


See you at the Bi-County Fair

BEACON / COURTESY/ JUST B PHOTOGRAPHGY

Elena Willcox is proudly participating in the 2010 Bi-County Fair!s Stick Horse Race competition. “There are usually about 100 entries every year,” noted Tina Robinson, event organizer. She explained that this year!s race is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4.

tered a non-venomous snake a few years ago.” There are four awards given by a panel of judges. Each year three new members recognize winners for the smallest, largest, most talented and most unusual pets, according to event organizers. The morning includes a pet parade along with special guests such as Smokey Bear and clowns. “Every pet owner wins something,” said a committee member. Robinson reminisced about her youth and the years she entered livestock competitions. She recalled spending many hours preparing to show horses, cows and pigs. Her varied interests involved numerous non-livestock contests. “I also entered the rug braiding, ceramics and baking contests in the open exhibits’ building,” she said. The area resident is a staunch supporter of the regional fair and pointed out, “I grew up with the fair because my parents helped start it.” In addition to the pet show and stick horse race, Sunday is filled with a wide range of activities including the buyers’ luncheon, awards’ ceremony, junior livestock sale and the “pig plop” contest.

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— From the 4-H Council —

Just Around the Corner By Dorthy Strange Beacon Staff Writer

The Bi-County Fair is an annual event that all 4-H members in both Cibola and McKinley County prepare for. They spend all year getting livestock and indoor entries ready but the fair is not just about animals or projects. It’s also about having fun, meeting new people and making new friends. Bi-County Fair gives us the opportunity to show what we have learned throughout the year. There are a variety of projects in addition to livestock. Some of us are enrolled in ceramics, sewing, baking, weld-

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ing, woodworking, wildlife studies, leather craft and shooting sports. The list goes on and on. There really is an opportunity to learn skills in many areas. If we have the gift of gab, we might even want to D. STRANGE enter the Public Speaking contest. In all of these areas we have the opportunity to win ribbons and trophies. Whether we are involved in indoor or animal projects, recordkeeping is an essential activity.

Most of us don’t really like doing record books, but they also provide a learning experience. This year we have to turn in a record sheet with our indoor projects. Record-keeping is especially important with our livestock projects. We need to know if we are making a profit or are taking a loss. For many of us the profits help us get started for the next year’s project. And any extra money may go into our college education savings’ account. Other activities include a pet show and a stick horse race for kids of all ages. Even fifty-five isn’t too old to compete for those young at heart.


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2011 Bi-County Fair