2 Boys, 2 Pigs



Teresa McQuerrey/Roundup

Jake Beeler is an old hand at raising pigs, but this is the first year he will have a pig project in the Northern Gila County Fair. The fair opens Friday, Sept. 11. To Buy This Image, contact: <a href="mailto:atowle@payson.com">atowle@payson.com</a>


Teresa McQuerrey/Roundup

Members of the 4-H Club will show their prize animals during the livestock auction at the Northern Gila County Fair this weekend. To Buy This Image, contact: <a href="mailto:atowle@payson.com">atowle@payson.com</a>


Teresa McQuerrey/Roundup

When your pig weighs between 200 and 220 pounds, giving it a bath sometimes takes two and Jake Beeler and Brooks Randall work well as a team. To Buy This Image, contact: <a href="mailto:atowle@payson.com">atowle@payson.com</a>


Teresa McQuerrey/Roundup

Jake Beeler and Brooks Randall devote at least five hours a week to their 4H pig project, but play ball too. To Buy This Image, contact: <a href="mailto:atowle@payson.com">atowle@payson.com</a>

Their moms refer to them as Mutt and Jeff — with much affection and not a small dose of humor. Jake Beeler and Brooks Randall are two 10-year-old, fifth-grade students at Frontier Elementary School.

The two are also first year members of 4H and each is raising a pig for the 55th Annual Northern Gila County Fair. Jake calls his “Porky” and Brooks has given his the name his father suggested, “Fresh Side” — as in a fresh side of bacon.

As much fondness as the boys have developed working with their pigs for the past few months, the goal is to get them to a good weight and sell them at the annual livestock auction at the fair and make a profit.

The 4H pig projects are not the boys’ first experience raising pigs. Jake has helped his family raise pigs since he was about 5 and Brooks has done the same since he was 6. So, they knew what to do.

“But we had to feed them special food,” Jake said.

“Not slop,” Brooks added.

They decided to have pig projects because they’re fun.

“Pigs are smart,” Jake said.

And, according to both boys, theirs are well behaved, or at least that is what the judges told them in the pre-fair event they took part in a couple of weeks ago.

The pre-fair gave the two and their pigs a chance to learn how to show in front of judges, get the pigs weighed and, if needed, have shots and get ear tags. At the pre-fair Jake’s pig was about 175 pounds and Brooks’ was 155, now Porky is around 220 and Fresh Side is sitting at 200.

They learned the judges will be looking for a good weight and muscle ratio and that their pigs can’t weigh more than 300 pounds. The judges also look for the dimple on the pigs’ backs and hourglass hindquarters.

They also learned they will be sleeping on cots by their pigs’ pens at the fair; they have to be with them around the clock. Their moms will be nearby though. Patty Beeler said she is setting up the family travel trailer; she won’t be sleeping in the barn with her boy.

The boys bought their pigs in Snowflake at an auction, each spending around $50 in early June. Since then each spends about five hours a week training their animals, feeding them twice a day, grooming them and keeping the pens clean.

Jake enjoys leading his pig around with a stick with a tennis ball on the end of it. He has also been knocked over by Porky (in one of his less well-behaved moments). Brooks said he likes washing his pig.

Both boys say they are enjoying 4H and are looking forward to the Northern Gila County Fair, which will be Sept. 11-13, though the livestock will only be available for viewing on Friday and Saturday.

Calling all entries for 55th annual county fair

Summer is on the run toward fall and it’s time to start thinking about the 55th Annual Northern Gila County Fair. The call is out to get entries ready.

Entries to the Tonto Apache Exhibit Hall will be accepted between noon and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9. Livestock, rabbit and bird exhibit entries can be submitted between noon at 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10 at the Payson Event Center. There is no charge for entries into any of the fair competitions.

Fair books with the premium lists and rules for submitting an entry into the fair and tags, which must be on each entry, are at the Payson Parks and Recreation Department in Green Valley Park, the Payson Public Library in Rumsey Park and the Pine Public Library.

There will be things to see the early days of the fair. There will be barrel race and pole bending contests at the Payson Event Center starting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9 and the 4H Speed Events at the PEC at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10.

Special events during the remainder of the fair include the 4H Horse Show at 8 a.m. at the PEC and the livestock judging and show under the big tent at 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11. The open horse show is at 8 a.m. at PEC and the livestock auction under the big tent at 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12. Books open at 7 a.m. and registration closes at 7:45 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 12 for the open horse show. Registration is required to participate in the auction. Participants may register at 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12 and they will have the opportunity to enjoy the “Buyers Dinner” prepared by Ronnie McDaniel and Terry Phillips.

The popular Demolition Derby is at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 13, with gates opening at 11:30 a.m. Honeycutt Rodeo, Chapman Auto Center and Payson Parks & Recreation sponsor this event.

The fair is open to the public beginning at 9 a.m., Friday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 13. The exhibits may be viewed at the Tonto Apache Exhibit Hall from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The exhibitions at the PEC are released at 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12. Those in the exhibit hall must be retrieved between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 13.

Cash prizes are awarded for first, second and third place wins — $3, $2 and $1 respectively.

There are several special fair awards made when warranted. The Zane Grey Award is presented to the entry that best depicts life in the Rim Country of the Old West. Members of the Northern Gila County Historical Society and the Zane Grey Cabin Foundation will do judging. Points will be based on Old West authenticity, skills required, originality and quality. The Fred Chilson Pioneer Ranching Award is presented to the youth exhibitor or adult leader in the livestock division. The Northern Gila County Fair Steering Committee, livestock superintendent and leaders will do judging from 4H and FFA. The award is based on leadership, responsibility, citizenship and professionalism. The Mary Ellen Randall Award is presented to a youth exhibitor or adult leader in the equestrian division. Judging is by the fair steering committee, horse superintendent and 4H leaders. The award is based on leadership, responsibility, citizenship and professionalism. These awards may or may not be awarded and are based on merit. The Lacey Balmer Oldland High Point Youth All-Around Award for the open horse show.

A special contest is planned for participants in the agriculture and horticulture, as well as the floriculture divisions this year. Design a scarecrow on a 6-foot pointed stake that is from 4- to 5-feet high, with an arm spread between 2- and 4-feet. The winner will received a gift certificate to Plant Fair Nursery. There will also be several workshops and other special events, with details to be published at a later date.

Photographers have pro photo editor judge work

Rim Country photographers have a chance to have their work judged by Arizona Highways photo editor Jeff Kida at the 2008 Northern Gila County Fair.

Photography department superintendent Ed Toliver invites amateur and professional photographers in the area to participate in the fair, which will be Sept. 11, 12 and 13.

There is no entry fee and everyone who resides in or owns property in Gila County may enter. Entries must be handed in at the Tonto Apache Recreation Center between noon and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Entries must be color or black-and-white prints, from 5-by-7 inches to 11-by-14 inches in size. Prints may be printed by the photographer, a photo lab or on a computer printer. All must be mounted on mat-boards that are at least 8-by-10 inches in size, but no larger than 11-by-14 inches, with the larger size mat preferred. The mat-boards must be stiff enough to stand up without sagging. No photos in frames or with glass can be displayed.

All entries must be pictures taken by the photographer. Amateur and professionals will be judged separately. Prizes ($3 for first, $2 for second; $1 for third) will be awarded in 18 categories within each subdivision of: amateur, professional, junior and senior, in both black-and-white and color. The categories include:

• landscapes and natural features

• skies and storms

• trees and flowers

• close-up of nature subjects

• wildlife

• cityscapes, buildings and man-made subjects

• rustic structures

• close-up of man-made objects

• people and their activities

• portraits, candid or posed

• pets and domestic animals

• emotions

• humor

• motion or action

• night photography

• abstract or patterns

• darkroom or digital manipulation (beyond normal “tweaking” of images)

For questions about the rules, contact the superintendent for photography, at (928) 476-4596.

Gila County Fair in globe features ‘The Wall’

This year’s Gila County Fair, celebrating its 40th year, is going to be the biggest and best ever. It will feature the impressive display of the traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which stands in Washington, D.C.; three nights of great stage entertainment including Conner Cecil and his band on stage Saturday night; a bigger and more diversified carnival; and all the many exhibits entered by area residents. The Gila County Fair in Globe is Sept. 17-20 at the Gila County Fairgrounds with this year’s gate fee again only $5 per carload per day. For that fee fair-goers will be able to visit and see everything on display, enjoy all the events including the stage shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, the carnival and all the many exhibits that will fill Boice Exhibit Hall and the livestock area nearby, the bull riding Friday night and the Ranch Rodeo on Saturday at the rodeo arena. The American Veterans Traveling Tribute, including The Wall, will be located in the infield of the horse racing track, along with a huge display honoring veterans of all wars, and much more. Some people will enjoy quiet time at The Wall remembering loved ones, and others will enjoy a program of remembrance that will be held each day in The Wall area.

For those who need help finding names on the wall, there will be a booth with computers, manned by people who can look up any name and give the information on where it is located, there will be veterans to help you find the name you want, and souvenir sheets of paper that you can use to rub the name on and take home with you.

An official opening program at The Wall display will be presented at noon, opening day, Thursday, Sept. 17. A special POW/MIA Recognition Day program will be held at The Wall display, with placing of wreaths at 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 18. On Saturday at 2 p.m. a special Memorial Program will be held at The Wall site, complete with a speaker, the playing of bagpipes and other tributes. A special Ride of Pride by hundreds of motorcycle riders will be held at the closing ceremony at The Wall beginning at 4 p.m., Sunday.

Due to the expected attendance at this year’s fair, a special valet service will be put into place to move people from one area of the fair to another. Parking will be in the area of the rodeo arena, in the area of the exhibit hall and on the racetrack infield. There will be no charge for parking or the valet service – these are being provided by the fair.


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