Competitors get creative in showing fake birds at Routt County Fair junior livestock |

Competitors get creative in showing fake birds at Routt County Fair junior livestock

Makayla Iacovetto got creative while showing off her turkeys at the junior livestock show at the Routt County Fair on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. Birds weren't allowed this year due to avian influenza.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The junior livestock show at the 2022 Routt County Fair in Hayden commenced on Saturday, Aug. 20, with competitors showing off humans dressed as birds.

Makayla Iacovetto toted a posted board with pictures of her turkeys, Maverick and Goose, while a friend in a chicken costume followed her and held a sign that said, ‘eat more turkey’, a play on Chick-fil-A’s advertising slogan.

Justin Heid was accompanied by a friend dressed as a turkey who paraded a poster around as Heid stood in the center of the ring on crutches. 

“How much do you have to pay your sidekick?” the auctioneer joked.

Those participating in a poultry project had to get creative at the auction, as birds weren’t allowed on the premises due to a rise in avian influenza cases. 

The non-traditional format was pleasant for Bo Whitehead, a Steamboat Springs High School junior in his first year of 4-H. He said it was a low-pressure way to get introduced to showing turkeys.

For some people, they were bidding on a bird they had never truly seen before, but that wasn’t the case for the person that bought Whitehead’s turkeys. His father, Jeff, got into a bit of a bidding war with a family member over the pair of birds. 

“I knew I was out here to support him. It wasn’t about what I thought the turkey was worth,” Jeff Whitehead said. “I had a number I felt like he should get tonight, so I wanted to stick to that.”

The rest of the competitors had to manage the old-fashioned format, guiding and convincing their animals to do what they wanted in the arena while hundreds of attendees were given the chance to bid. 

Skylar and Ashley Fisher of Bar A Ranch in Toponas were two of many year-over-year regulars who attended the livestock show. 

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“We just believe in what this teaches the kids in the community and to be able to support them and give back to their schooling and their education means the world,” said Ashley Fisher. “The only year we missed was when it was online in COVID.” 

Ashley Fisher said Bar A usually buys animals from youth that she knows through the community or through the ranch. This year, they bought a steer from a familiar face.

Peyton Baker, a Hayden High School student, was the first to go in the market steer category with her grand champion.

“He did really good in the sale,” Baker said of her steer, Dutton. “It’s really just contacting your buyers, contacting people that will come and add onto your beef.”

Baker was happy with the sale, but sad to see her favorite steer ever go. Through eight years of showing cattle it’s become a familiar feeling, though, and she knows to focus on other things to get through it. 

“It’s just looking forward to getting a new one next year,” she said. 

Bradley Hoskinson was already looking forward to next year, too, even before showing his steer, Calvin. Hoskinson said he got out of this year’s fair what he put in, which he admitted wasn’t top-notch effort. Nevertheless, he still enjoyed another rendition of the fair and junior livestock show. 

“The sale day is always my favorite,” he said. “Not just because of the money. I like seeing everyone come in. It’s nice to see all the supporters who support 4-H and all the students and teenagers that put in a lot of work.”

“It takes a community to do this,” he added.

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