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Animals preparing to take center stage at Kern County Fair

4-H teams showing their animals Saturday
Posted: 7:00 PM, Sep 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-21 22:00:54-04

Animals are the heart of the Kern County Fair, aside from the rides, games and amazing food. Saturday, 4-H teams from across Kern County will begin showing the animals they've raised to the judges.

Olivia Penner is a part of 4H Southwest. Each morning she greets her lambs Charlie and Douglas with a, "Hi baby. Good morning."

Friday Penner and other 4-H teams at the Kern County Fair made their final preparations before Saturday's competition. For the 4-H lamb teams, it was shearing day. The teams use two different shears.

"The big one is more for the body. The little one can do all of the little details in there and on their head. You can shear their ears and their noses," said Penner.

Penner said shearing is important so the judges can get a better look at the animals.

"So the judges are looking for a really nice loin, which is from the 13th rib to their hip bone, and a really nice flat back, and a lot of muscle," said Penner.

A better looking lamb yield more value for these 4-H teams, which means more money at auction after the competition. 

For a competitor like Olivia Penner, this is her third year showing a lamb. But for her she's chose a different path than her athletic siblings. She's the first to get into livestock.

Penner said, "The mostly just did sports like soccer or football."

And on top of that, Penner said while her friends are spending their money at the mall, she saving her's money to be able to pay to show animals herself.

"I paid for my first lamb, most of it myself. And the money I got from auction paid for my next year's lamb and just the continuing cycle," said Penner.

Penner got so good showing one lamb, that this year she doubled the lambs she's showing. And she's hoping her hard work and savings will pay off for her when she's older.

"I just save my money and use it for whatever I need. I'm saving up to buy myself a truck as well, whenever I'm old enough to drive. And I'll probably save some of it for college. Help pay for stuff like that," said Penner.

And Saturday is the beginning of how much money she could save for next year.

If you want to watch the lambs being shown, the competition starts Saturday morning at the Kern County Fairgrounds in the 4-H ring.