Mansfield kids at the fair

Mansfield 4-H Kritters and Kids members include, from left, Hayley Vargas, Evalee Shafer, Braydon Murison, Max Murison, George Murison, Beau Nordby (in back), Duke Nordby and Parker Shafer. (Empire Press/Adrienne Douke)


By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Braydon Murison shows his steer Stanley. The steer a descendant of his great-grandfather Max Nollmeyer’s herd. (Provided photo/Thera Moore)

Mansfield made its presence known at the North Central Washington Fair Aug. 24-27.

Two groups of Mansfield kids representing the FFA (Future Farmers of America) and the 4-H Kritters and Kids exhibited their livestock. The kids brought their steers, swine, a goat, a rabbit and a chicken for their exhibitions.

The NCW Fair in Waterville is a family tradition for most Douglas County residents. Family traditions play an important role in 4-H participation and exhibiting livestock in the Murison family. Braydon Murison, an eighth-grader, brought his steer Stanley to the fair this year to show. Stanley is a descendant of his great-grandfather Max Nollmeyer’s cattle herd. Max Nollmeyer passed away in 1998.

“My parents kept his cattle herd going. It’s a wonderful feeling to see Max’s great-grandson showing a descendant of his herd today,” Nikki Murison said, who is Braydon’s mother and Max Nollmeyer’s granddaughter.

Stanley took first place in the weight class and also first in Market. Braydon Murison noted that this is a good experience in the summer to help him to prepare for agricultural studies later on.

Nikki Murison said that, “4-H is a great experience to share with your children. In our family, it gives us quality time with our kids. We look forward to the fair every year, it’s one of our family traditions that we have passed down through the generations.”

Don “Duck” Murison, grandfather of siblings Braydon, George and Max, recalls fond memories growing up in Douglas County and showing steers at the fair as a youth. “I’m proud to see my grandchildren following in my footsteps and having the same wonderful experience I did growing up and showing livestock at the fair.”

Mansfield FFA members are, from left, Tessa Johnson, Suzanne Vargas, Daniel Youngblood, Presley Avenell, Jessie Ring, David MacDonald, Christian Vargas, Sammie Trull and Ariana Salcido. (Empire Press photo/Jamey Jo Steele)

Eighth-grader Haley Vargas brought her steer Sparky. This was her fourth year showing. Sparky took first place in Market. “I worked really hard to get him ready for the fair. I’m pretty happy he won first place,” Vargas said.

Eighth-grader Beau Nordby, who has shown for the past five years, brought her steer Willow to the fair and won first place in Fitting and Showing, and second place in Market.

Sixth-grader Duke Nordby exhibited his steer Durant, that took first place in Fitting and Showing and second place in Market.

It was sixth-grader Evalee Shafer’s first year at the fair. She entered her rabbit Smokey, and a chicken named Goldie. She was delighted to get a call back grand championship for her first exhibit.

It appears Shafer has found a new hobby in fair competitions. “I really enjoyed the fair and the competition. I look forward to coming back next year with more chickens and another bunny,” she said.

Sixth-grader Tiera Miller brought her boar Elton, and won first place in Fitting and Showing. She also entered a baking competition, and arts and crafts.

Seventh-grader Trevor Moore brought his gilt Zerfa, and took first place in Fitting and Showing.

Thera Moore, mother of Tiera Miller, said that 4-H gives kids a hands-on experience in animal husbandry and teaches responsibility.

“4-H helps children grow into responsible adults. Every year our kids see a new area they want to explore and grow in,” she said.

Fourth-grader George Murison brought two pigs, Bella and Louie, and won two blue ribbons in Fitting and Showing for both, and second place in Market with his boar.

Fourth-grader Max Murison brought his steer Red Beard and won third in his weight class in Market and fourth in juniors for Fitting and Showing.

There were nine FFA members who participated in the livestock exhibition this year at the fair.

Jessie Ring, Presley Avenell, Daniel Youngblood, Ariana Salcido, Tessa Johnson and Sammie Trull all brought swine to exhibit.

David MacDonald did well with his goat Jackie, winning first place in Fitting and Showing and first place in Market. MacDonald said, “It’s been a lot of fun and I’m pleased that we took first place. It was worth it.”

Other FFA results were Christian Vargas, grand champion novice in Beef Fitting and Showing; and Tessa Johnson, champion return novice in Swine Fitting and Showing.

Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Jamey Jo Steele said, “This is the largest number of members our FFA chapter has had at the fair since the re-establishment of the agriculture/FFA program in Mansfield in 2013. The growth and expansion of our school farm has given the opportunity for many kids who live in town a place to raise their livestock projects. Our program has been extremely well supported by the Mansfield community both financially and with volunteer labor.”

Responsibility and commitment are the cornerstones of 4-H and FFA participation. The work involved for participants and their parents, and the support of the Mansfield businesses and community are considerable. The kids’ exhibitions at the fair, and the ribbons that they win, are the result of cooperative volunteerism, and generous donations from local businesses and community members.

Steele added, “The kids would like to say a very special thank you to Mark Steele and Scott Jenkins for their huge support throughout the year for hauling pigs to the fair, hauling feed, helping to weigh and vaccinate throughout the summer and getting the school farm ready this spring.”