The Yelm FFA concluded a successful showing at the Thurston County Fair during their stay from July 27 to July 31. The Yelm FFA group accounted for over 15 grand champions and a handful of reserve …
The Yelm FFA concluded a successful showing at the Thurston County Fair during their stay from July 27 to July 31. The Yelm FFA group accounted for over 15 grand champions and a handful of reserve grand champions as well.
Yelm FFA returned to the Thurston County Fairgrounds for the first time in three years after the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on the event. Yelm brought “34 or so kids” to the fair, according to Matt Mounts, a Yelm High School agriculture teacher and FFA adviser.
“We saw a good number of members turn out to the fair considering it’s our first time in three years we’ve been back to normal here,” Mounts said in an interview with Nisqually Valley News.
The club had student participants exhibit beef, swine, goats and rabbits. They also featured an educational booth on Wednesday, July 27, to “reach out to young kids and teach them a little more about agriculture,” according to Mounts.
The first Yelm FFA member to receive grand champion honors during the 2022 Thurston County Fair was Tyler Curzon. He received the honors for the novice rabbit showman category.
Winners for beef were announced on Thursday, July 27, and Yelm FFA saw two grand champions crowned. Natalie Webster took home the title of senior FFA grand champion Showman for beef, while Peyton Yanke took home the novice FFA grand champion showman for beef as well.
Five members took home grand champion honors for sheep categories on Thursday, July 28. Trinity Short was named grand champion for market lamb, while Carter Durst was named reserve grand champion for market lamb.
Audrey Hyder was named FFA grand champion senior showman for lambs, with Emmy Huttmann and Trinity Short each earning grand champion in the junior and novice showman fields, respectively.
Jayden Hernandez was named grand champion for market goats, with Huttmann taking home the reserve grand champion prize. Kyla Poland was named grand champion junior goat showman, and Mailie Poland was named grand champion goat novice showman.
Hyder also won the honors of grand champion dairy goat novice showman.
Della Coble took home the title of grand champion showman for market hogs on Friday, July 29, while Brody Mounts earned the title of reserve grand champion in the same field. Brody Mounts also took home the prize of senior FFA grand champion for swine, while Ben Carney was named grand champion junior showman for swine as well. Kenadie Webster was named FFA novice grand champion showman for swine.
In the evening of the final day of the Thurston County Fair on July 31, it was time to name the Round Robin, which goes to the overall showman of the fair.
Not only was the grand champion a Yelm representative, but her sister was also named reserve grand champion for Round Robin. Kenadie Webster was announced as the grand champion, with Natalie Webster being named reserve grand champion.
Overall, Mounts felt that the market sale was a success for both the Yelm FFA Club as a whole, but the members of the club too.
“At the market sale, all the kids did outstanding. We could go on and on about their successes, but the community showed awesome support and the kids definitely worked hard to make a profit off of their animals,” Mounts said. “We did incredibly well in the sale ring.”
He added that three of the Yelm FFA members were also the “high seller” for their species. Audrey Hyder’s lamb was sold to Les Schwab Tire Center for the high price, Jayden Hernandez’s Goat was purchased by Coastal Farm and Ranch for the high price and Brody Mounts’ hog was purchased by Stewart’s Meat Market for the high price.
Mounts had tempered his expectations for the 2022 Thurston County Fair and market because of how new this concept would be for his FFA members. However, everything went right for Mounts and the Yelm FFA team.
“Honestly I think things went as well as they could be expected to. I couldn’t have been more impressed by the kids and all the extra effort they put in to help others,” he said. “It’s hard for kids to come in not knowing what’s going on. Every time we had something on we’d have students helping each other to be successful overall.”
He also wanted to give a shoutout to the Yelm FFA club for walking away with the overall herd’s award, which is based on interactions with the public, how clean they kept their stalls and areas, and other variables.
Mounts also wanted to give a special thank you to the Yelm community for all the support they showed to the FFA members. He said, “They definitely rewarded the kids with their support.”
He added that he was extremely impressed with the number of former Yelm High School students and FFA members who spent the week at the fair “mentoring the kids.”
“Kya Ramirez was awesome during the fair. I cannot give her enough kudos for all the time she spent making sure these kids were taken care of,” Mounts said. “She’s a member of the fair board and she’s always there and locked in. She doesn’t let the title get to her head and she’s always humble about it.”
He added that Caitlyn Garvey and Breanna Short also spent the weekend at the Thurston County Fair “ensuring the weekend went as good as it could’ve.”
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