Summer heat takes a toll on animals destined for county fairs

Published: Sunday, Aug. 11 2013 12:12 a.m. MDT

"There's always tragedy in life, and I think that those can be just as powerful, if not more powerful, of an educational experience for kids than actually making it to the show," Parent said. "Yes, there's some heartache, but if we as parents or adults take those opportunities to help the kids … learn and grow from that tragedy, they'll be better people."

Jenson is confident many of the youth who found their animals wanting at county fairs can get them ready in time for the state fair, which runs Sept. 5 to 15 at the Utah State Fairpark.

"Almost all of them will make the state fair, it's just another opportunity later," he said. "It might make the state fair a little bit bigger."

Jeff Nemecek, a resident of Iola, Kansas, has judged livestock events at the Weber County Fair for several years. When he heard how many 100-degree days had hit Utah this summer, he wasn't surprised at the number of underweight animals.

"It really hammers those hogs," Nemecek said. "Hogs in particular, they can't sweat … they just want to lay where its cool and they won't eat."

Overall, Nemecek had high praise for the quality of animals he saw after judging the hog show Thursday.

As the Weber County Fair wrapped up Saturday, Mark and Danny Edwards loaded up their hog, never having seen the auction ring. They plan to keep the meat for their family, and promise to back next year.

"I love that when you go to the fair there's lots of stuff to do, and it's fun to compete with the other kids and see what their pigs look like and how they act," Danny said. "I'll keep trying until I can get it right."

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com, Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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