Riley Donelson of Clinton loves the Fairbury Fair since she considers it a “laid-back ending” to the summer fair season.
Donelson, of Clinton, showed two steers in the open show for her cousin since he had to go back to school. Showing animals involves plenty of hard work but can be rewarding.
“For me, it’s a family thing. My family has been showing cattle for 50 some years,” Donelson said.
Her sister, mom, aunts and uncles all showed before she did so the tradition carries on. Donelson showed hogs for 12 years and started showing cattle the last few years of her showing career.
“We show around the state all throughout the summer,” Donelson explained. “We just finished at the State Fair and this is kind of our end of the year cap.”
Across the fairgrounds, Sam Schmidgall could be seen overseeing the sheep show. Sheep numbers are up slightly this year. Schmidgall has served as superintendent for a while. In fact, he actually married into the role as his father-in-law was involved in the past and Schmidgall started helping him.
“Now, I’ve got my family involved in it and hopefully it will just keep going.”
Kids usually enjoy visiting the sheep barn since they can hold the animals or get an up-close look.
“They are a pretty gentle animal,” Schmidgall added.
Beef, steers and sheep all showed Friday morning with judging of junior beef, market lambs, junior sheep and rabbits taking place Saturday. Sunday’s judging includes dairy goats starting at 9 a.m.