Fair teaches life lessons for entrants

By Laurie Stone

The Roosevelt County Fair is underway as entrants make their last-minute preparations. This year’s fair has undergone a few changes which opens the door to a wider variety of participants.
“From our livestock, entertainment, vendors and carnival, we have the best fair around,” said Kent Best, president of the Roosevelt County Fairboard. “We host a variety of activities fun for all ages.”
For those bringing in and setting up their finest livestock, this is a time for their families as well. The Chenault family has used the fair as an educational experience throughout the years.
“Working together our family has learned persistence, along with the adversity of being a good winner and loser,” said Darwin Chenault, owner of Suffix and Hamp Sheep. He and his family have been showing their sheep for 10 years.
“Because of perserverance we won Reserve Grand Champion with our sheep in the 2003 Fair,” Chenault said. “Working with our animals is the best family entertainment time because we’re all together.”
Heidi Best, Kent’s daughter, believes that working together as a team is one reason why her family is so close.
“My family and I have been showing lambs at this fair for 11 years,” she said. “When we were young, Mom and Dad helped us kids do our chores, creating a trust between us.”
Heidi said her experiences with agriculture have helped mold her personality and her aspects of life have also changed. For her, raising lambs from birth to 130 pounds has provided her with priceless lessons about friendship that continue to mold her.
Chloe Speshock was seven when she first entered her Broken Mini Rex Rabbit in the Fair. Now at the age of 10, she explained that having a pet is a large resonsibility. However, watering, feeding, and doctoring her rabbit has made her feel more grown up.
“I really like taking care of my rabbit’s babies,” she said.
Carolyn Speshock, Chloe’s mother, described the pride she sees on the faces of her children, when they finally get to show their animals, as pure gratification.
“All their hard work has been fulfilled in that one moment,” she said.
The fair board is confident that the fair has as much to offer those enjoying the events as those that work behind the scenes.
“If people will come out and see,” Kent Best said, “they’ll understand what we’re all about.”