Technically, the Linn County Fair does not start until Thursday, but the action was fast and furious Monday morning in the Livestock Pavilion.
Trailer after trailer pulled up in the alley behind the building as youngsters, their families and their pigs and goats and sheep scurried in to stand — well, not always willingly — on the scales.
In the livestock work, just like in wrestling, you have to make weight.
The Lau family of Scio knew they were facing weight-minimum challenges with their three pigs because of the double whammy of 2021 weather issues the mid-valley faced.
“The ice storm did us in — and the heat,” said Tracy Lau, whose daughters Athena, 15, and Dalillah, 13, handled the three pigs as part of the Santiam Wranglers 4-H.
“The ice storm delayed things where we couldn’t get the pigs from the breeder,” said Athena. And the pigs didn’t gain much weight during the 110-degree days of late June.
People are also reading…
“We’re still going to see it through,” said grandfather Bill Lau.
Dalillah noted that because their pigs were under weight they could only participate in the showmanship competition.
“It’s all a part of life, a learning experience,” Tracy Lau said.
The Laus, including grandmother Mary Lau, also were in fine form with their swine sorting panels, working together to keep their pigs contained amid the congestion and confusion of the weighing area.
Kane Damon, who will be a freshman at West Albany High School in the fall, was on hand with his Hampshire cross sheep, Hells Bells, which is entered in the market competition. Kane has handled steers at previous fairs but chose to go with sheep this season because they put less pressure on his schedule.
Kane, who was wearing an Oregon State University T-shirt, is planning to play multiple sports for the Bulldogs.
“I’m having fun with the sheep,” he said. “Steers are much more work. I decided to take it easier this year.”
Father Robert Damon of Damon Show Lambs, meanwhile, had some issues with the accuracy of the scale.
“Oh, that’s way off,” he said as one of the lambs came in at 121 pounds. The redo showed 122 pounds and Damon was satisfied.
The action was continuous.
One goat got turned around in the weighing corral and its owner had to pull the animal out backward. One lamb bolted out of the chute like a rodeo bull but Hannah Glaser, a June honors graduate of Central Linn High School and a member of the Greenback 4-H alertly put the animal in a headlock. End of problem.
Then there was the stubborn goat handled by Isabel Sayer, 17, of Sweet Home, a member of Calapooia Critters 4-H. This goat, a Boer, did not want to move. But Isabel was determined.
His name? John Cena’s Back At It Again, a moniker that honors the pro wrestling star.
Isabel appeared to be winning this bout.