Burkett brothers strive for success
The Central Wyoming Fair is set to kick off July 9 in Casper as the first county fair in Wyoming. In preparation, many 4-H and FFA members are putting the finishing touches on their livestock projects.
Whether it’s raising lambs, rinsing steers or driving hogs, the Burkett brothers are no strangers to the livestock industry in central Wyoming.
The oldest, 15-year-old Garrett and 12-year-old Gage, are patiently waiting for ring time to show off this summer’s hard work. Garrett has been showing for six years, while Gage has shown for four years. While the brothers are seasoned veterans, they can find their younger brother, seven-year-old Grayden, ringside at shows ready to give high fives.
Garrett, Gage and Grayden have followed in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to showing livestock, as both of their parents, Jeremy and Karen Burkett, grew up showing cattle, sheep and swine.
“My dad helped us begin our livestock showing journey,” Garrett said. “He built the barn and from there it has really taken off.”
Practice makes perfect
As county fair approaches, the brothers find themselves walking pigs, washing leg wool on their lambs and rinsing steers every day.
Garrett shared, “My favorite part of the summer is walking my pigs every evening.”
At home, the Burketts enjoy hanging out and working with all the animals, but once on the road they love the competition. The family competed in several jackpot shows this summer seeking practice and success.
“I love packing the trailer so we can go jackpotting,” said Gage. “I really enjoy the practice for county fair.”
Any day of the week, both Garrett and Gage would rather show in a showmanship class than a market class.
“Our goal is to win showmanship every year,” said Garrett. “It depends all on you as a showman, not the quality of your animal.”
“We try every year to be the best we can be,” Gage added.
Lessons through learning
Garrett will exhibit one steer, three pigs and seven lambs at the Central Wyoming Fair. This summer, Gage has one steer and three pigs. Since Grayden is not quite old enough to show livestock himself, he helps his older brothers walk and work the livestock. Next year, Grayden plans on joining his older brothers with lambs and goats in the barn.
Both Garrett and Gage are grateful for everything they have learned through showing livestock.
Garrett shared, “Waking up early every morning to feed all the animals has helped us learn how important it is to be dedicated to them. Raising the animals and showing them has helped us become responsible.”
Cameron Magee is an intern for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.