The Ramona Junior Fair offers competitions but also many fun farming activities


Children showing their animals will be an important part of the Ramona Junior Fair 2022. But agricultural, industrial education and leisure activities will also be included in the event from Saturday 23 July to Monday 1 August.

Featuring small animals like dogs, poultry and rabbits and larger animals like horses, sheep, goats and pigs, the animal shows will show the hard work of members of 4-H, FFA and Grange, Junior Fair Administrator Mary Martineau said.

Grange and 4-H members ages 6 to 8 are in a primary category and can only show small animals, Martineau said. Older participants aged 9 to 18 and some 19 year olds can show the larger animals.

However, attendees who wish to auction their animals at the end of the fair can only show three market animals, while there is no limit to the number of breeding animals they can enter in the shows, she said. At the market shows, the animals are primarily judged by their weight. First place finishers from the market animal shows return to compete for a Grand Champion or Reserve Champion title in a Grand Champion Drive competition on Thursday, July 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Showmanship events will judge exhibitors based on their presentation of the animals and their own basic knowledge of the breeds and their care, Martineau said. Showmanship winners will enter a Master Showmanship competition to be held on Friday, July 29th at 9:00am for large animals and a separate one for small animals at 12:00pm.

“We are live streaming all of our shows this year. So if people don’t make it to a show, they can watch it remotely,” Martineau said, noting that a link will be available on the website. “We bought some new camera gear this year to hopefully make it even better than last year. We look forward to using it and seeing how it goes.”

Money raised at the cattle auctions is usually spent on raising animals for next year’s fair or to fund college education.

Last year’s auction, the Ramona Junior Fair’s 50th Anniversary Livestock Auction, raised $250,570 for the young exhibitors, and resales and auction additions brought the total to $285,000.

The auction also had a record breaker. Karlie Dougherty, a four-year member of the Ramona FFA, was paid $35 a pound for her hog, Beth Dutton, named after one of the stars of the TV show Yellowstone. Auctioneer Matt Gorham announced that the bid was a record for the Junior Fair auction. The previous record bid was $30.

Three Ramona Junior Fair grantees — Ramona’s Amanda Tinkess and Julian’s Rachel Rapue, who will each receive a $1,000 stipend, and Ramona’s Robert Wilson, who will receive a $500 stipend — will be honored on Saturday, May 30 July, at 12:30 p.m. at the exhibition center honored the animal auction.

Aside from the shows, FFA, 4-H and Grange members can showcase their talents and handicrafts in a housekeeping section. Culinary art, photography, sewing, ceramics, floral patterns and painting are shown in a utility building on the exhibition grounds.

Connor Nelson, a Ramona Stars 4H and Ramona FFA student, holds the wild honey he has grown on his Ramona estate at the 2021 Ramona Junior Fair.

(Michael Baldauf)

A new industrial arts section will be available this year for attendees who want to showcase their welding or woodworking projects, Martineau said.

“Industrial arts has become increasingly popular in the high school-level technical education vocational classes, so we decided to make it a separate category this year to open it up to many of these students,” she said. “A lot of 4-H clubs started with that — they have a woodworking group or they have a metalworking group.”

Projects considered masters in the Home Economics and Industrial Arts departments can enter the auction, which begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 30.

“It’s primarily for auctioning animals, but we also throw in home economics and industrial art to help these individuals sell some of their projects,” Martineau said. “If they don’t qualify for the auction, they can skip a card so someone interested in buying from an exhibitor can leave their name and phone number. Exhibitors can price their exhibit so we can help sell it.”

Rachel Rapue, recipient of the Ramona Junior Fair bursary, is shown with her lamb Butter and her third place finish ribbon.

Rachel Rapue, recipient of the Ramona Junior Fair Scholarship, is shown with her lamb Butter, which won a third-place market ribbon at the San Diego County Fair.

(Karlee Klem)

A Ramona Junior Fair Steering Committee, with members aged 5 to 18, organizes activities and competitions for those exhibiting animals at the fair or exhibiting in home economics and industrial arts.

Morgan Nelson, 17, helps plan activities as the 4-H representative on the committee. Other planners include FFA representative on the committee, Jasper Dilts, and adviser Michael Audibert.

This year’s activities include a Frozen t-shirt competition, in which t-shirts are frozen and contestants must retrieve them from the ice and put them on one of their team members. Another contest for showers and exhibitors is haybucking, in which contestants unload hay from a truck and move it across a line, then put the hay back on the truck after the time is up.

Parents and children can participate in Parent and Pee Wee Showmanship, Nelson said. Parents show pigs, cattle, sheep and goats and children under 9 years show pigs, sheep and goats. The parents and children will be placed as in a youth showmanship class and prizes will be awarded to first and second place finishers.

Nelson said she was excited to see different age groups participate.

Ramona Junior Fair Steering Committee 4-H representative Morgan Nelson will be showing her bull Waylon at this year's show.

Ramona Junior Fair Steering Committee 4-H representative Morgan Nelson will be showing her bull Waylon at this year’s show.

(Courtesy of Stacey Nelson)

The approximately 30 committee members ensure the cleanliness of the exhibition center and act as runners at the auction. When people bid on the animals and buy them, committee members run the paperwork to them and back to the office, Nelson said.

“Personally, I enjoy tutoring the younger kids as they prepare for the fair and showing them how to set up at the fair,” said Nelson, who has shown animals at the Ramona Stars 4-H and the Ramona for a dozen years FFA for four years. “I love to see how excited they get when they’re on stage.”

The week of shows, exhibitions and activities will culminate with an awards and closing ceremony on Sunday 31 July at 9am. All participants who won a competition during the week will receive their prizes during the ceremony. According to Martineau, trophies have been given out in the past, but now the fair’s organizers are giving out practical prizes that attendees can use, such as: B. Leashes and engraved dog bowls for dog show participants.

“The awards can be belt buckles for our champions, and there are sweatshirts, garment bags, engraved mugs and picture frames,” Martineau said. “It’s fun choosing things to give to them each year and coming up with new offerings.”


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