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Exhibitors begin county fair preparations

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The beginning of June marks the official start of summer vacation for students across the state, and the months-long break from the classroom offers many individuals an extended period of time to have fun. 

For many, this means going outside, hanging out with friends and maybe even going on vacation, but for Wyoming’s 4-H and FFA members, such as JJ Lipp, it means a lot of hard work.

JJ is an active FFA member and livestock exhibitor who specializes in beef. He works countless hours in the summer to prepare for Weston County Fair, which takes place annually during the last week of July. 

County fair preparations

JJ has spent months preparing for this very week, and it does not come easy. In fact, he has his plate full this year with six breeding heifers. 

According to JJ, six projects require a lot of daily work. He notes his daily routine usually takes all day, with little breaks. 

He explains, “Daily activity includes feeding my projects in the morning. Then all of them get washed and dried, which is not easy because of their size. I enjoy working their hair and adding products to their washing routine so their hair grows, resulting in better performance in the ring.”

“The final part to the morning routine is letting them out,” he continues. “This brings us to the night portion of the routine, which starts with working showmanship. Then they get fed once more, usually around 8 p.m. The final step is turning them back in to start all over in the morning.” 

Showing off the hard work

This laborious process leads up to the big day, where JJ and other 4-H and FFA exhibitors get to show off their hard work. 

While some individuals spend their summers hanging out with friends, relaxing or traveling the world, Wyoming’s 4-H and FFA members spend most their time with their animals and other projects. But, why is this? 

JJ explains he likes to show because it is fun and he enjoys promoting his animals so people will buy them at the end of fair week. 

Because JJ raises his own show cattle, he spends a great amount of money at the beginning of the year to buy his projects each year. Then, at the end of the summer, he takes the money he makes from selling his beef projects to purchase the next ones. 

JJ also notes he loves watching his animals grow and succeed from his own handiwork. And of course, making new friends is a plus. 

Showing livestock requires a lot of time and energy and is a challenging skill for one to learn, but it offers incredibly valuable benefits in the end. 

“It has taught me how to lose, and it has humbled me,” says JJ. “When you show livestock against other exhibitors with bigger benefits, it humbles you very fast. But, with this, you also learn how to be a grateful and graceful winner.” 

Preslee Fitzwater is an intern for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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