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Livestock all around at the fair

Brian korthals/daily globe Brandon Weidert is shown with his cow after the Dairy Show Thursday.2 / 2

WORTHINGTON -- From hogs being fed to cows being groomed, livestock is a major part of the Nobles County Fair every year.

Brandon Weidert, a member of the Grand Prairie Rockets 4-H club, spent a good chunk of his Thursday morning grooming the topline of his dairy cattle -- six heifers and a cow -- for the dairy show.

Weidert began training his heifers in June.

"These guys have been tied up since June but I let them out at night for fresh air," said Weidert, who is competing for the ninth year.

Each heifer was body clipped a week before the fair.

"It takes anywhere from a half hour to an hour," added Weidert, who also groomed six other heifers for two of his cousins who were participating.

The hair off the topline is spared for grooming before the show.

"We just spike it up and then we spray WD-40 to shine them," he said.

Thursday's dairy show started with Cloverbuds. Nobles County 4-H Program Coordinator Kendra Van Beusekom explained that Cloverbuds is a program designed for younger children between kindergarten and third grade.

Third-graders can opt to participate as a regular 4-Her or as a Cloverbud.

"Each (Cloverbud) 4-Her can show one animal per species but an adult or an older youth leader needs to be in the ring with them," Van Beusekom explained. "We make sure our Cloverbuds are kept safe."

Another highlight of the livestock program is the beef show on Saturday, which has the highest number of exhibitors.

"If you've never experienced one (beef show), you'll have to come and check it out," said Megan Prins, president of the 4-H board of directors. "There's a lot to see."

Today, attendees will be in for a treat as the swine, horse, goat and poultry shows take place.

Apart from individual livestock shows, a ribbon sale will take place Saturday to acknowledge the effort made by 4-H members for their livestock projects.

"It's an auction but we're not selling the animals," Van Beusekom said. "We're selling the ribbons."

As a fundraiser for each ribbon sold, there is an 80/20 split between the individual 4-H members and the Nobles County 4-H program.