BUTTE — At the Vigilante Saddle Club on Monday, the Butte-Silver Bow County Fair kicked off the action for its first day with 4-H’ers showing off all the animals they’ve raised over the past year.
Makaylyn Reinhart only weighs 85 pounds, but she could still handle her 1,500-pound cow during the show.
“It’s sometimes very complicated and sometimes it’s just harder to do it,” said Makaylyn.
But that didn’t stop her from earning a blue ribbon in a competition that puts plenty of scrutiny on the animals from the judge.
“Oh yeah, it’s extremely nerve-wracking to be a contestant. You’ve worked all year for this moment and you hope that your animal cooperates because one little thing that goes wrong could make or break you,” said livestock show judge Bobby Dorvall.
The contestants work hard on their animals, including making sure they eat well.
“So it’s cracked corn, there’s a pellet we give them that’s got proteins, vitamins, shoot he probably eats better than I do,” said 4-H contestant Jim Kinsey.
Sometimes animals, like hogs, need more than just good food—they need good vibes.
“Your pigs will feed off your negative energy and they’ll start getting stressed out too,” said 4-H contestant Bram Beausoleil.
It seems like pigs could use meditation to keep them cool.
“Like goat yoga, but with pigs,” he added.
“The lessons that they learn are things that you really can’t get anywhere else in terms of responsibility, basic science of figuring out how to feed livestock properly, keep an animal alive and just the financial responsibility, being able to think on your feet,” said Dorvall.
The county fair will continue Friday and Saturday at the Vigilante Saddle Club; they have music, food, and more animals to look at.
The event ends with a Jo Dee Messina concert Saturday at 7:30 p.m.