SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– Livestock shows are back in full swing this summer.
“This year, it just feels great to be normal again,” Sarah VanDerVliet, Ag Education Instructor at Tri-Valley and 4-H mom said. “A lot of it is the friendships they build, being able to hang out together, being able to camp here, having spectators come in. I mean the amount of that these FFA members, 4-H kids put into these livestock projects, is astronomical.”
Showman and families have been very excited to be able to come back together and show again this year.
“Seeing new people come in, you know, show their animals, you get to meet those people, how it’s changed so much,” said Braelyn Baloun, a showman.
Makayla Simmermon, who also shows livestock, said “it’s such like a big exhale. It’s like we were holding our breath all last year, and then now we finally get to quote-on-quote go back to normal, which is nice.”
Kids begin working with their animal as early as February and enjoy getting to see all the hard work pay off at the fair.
“Watching them take that animal to the show ring, while they worked so hard to train and wash and clip and get ready to go. It’s just fun, and when they put that smile on their face when they win or when they are doing good with their animal it’s just fun to watch as a parent,” VanDerVliet said.
It’s also about lending a helping hand and showing support to others.
“If it’s not their day to show, they’re helping their friends show. They’re always all working together, where last year we missed out on that a little bit with you know having such a choppy show having the come and go you know. But having our fair week back has been great,” VanDerVliet said.
The Sioux Empire Fair is seeing about 300 head of FFA livestock exhibiting, which is almost double the number from last year. There are also 4-H showmen involved at the fair.