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Cruising NWKS: Just starting out





WaKEENEY -- Four-year-old Traxton Maley had watched his aunts and uncles trot animal after animal through the show ring at the Trego County Fair long enough.

This year, he knew he had to join them.

Still too young to even be a Cloverbud -- a pre-4-H level designed for 5- and 6-year-olds -- Maley didn't care.

"His aunts and uncles were in 4-H, so he thought he had to do 4-H," said mom Hope Maley of WaKeeney.

He showed his bucket calf for the first time Thursday, proudly stomping out of the arena after the open class show that included two Cloverbuds in Trego County 4-H.

"I got a ribbon," he said proudly, showing the red ribbon to anyone who passed by him.

"I thought he did an awesome job," Hope Maley said. "I was really impressed with how he followed directions from the judge."

She was a 4-H member as a child, as was most of the rest of her family, so the time and effort each project takes is no surprise to her.

"Responsibility's a big thing," she said. "He can tell you what he did with that calf all year."

Traxton Maley was one of many youth to show bucket calves, dairy cows and market steers at Trego County's beef show Thursday. He followed it up with a goat show last week, too.

The 4-H shows and exhibits were just part of the fun of the 102nd annual Trego County Fair. Entertainment included concerts and children's games, and a carnival returned to the fair, thanks to community support, said Bryan Bergquist, a former fair board member.

Bergquist still coordinates the free barbecue for the community, which fed hundreds of people Thursday night. He got that going a number of years ago, and it continues with support from Trego County Economic Development and city and rural firefighters, plus other volunteers.

"It's kind of a kickoff to the fair, just to say thanks for everything all year long," Bergquist said.

With benches full of men shooting the breeze and class reunions scheduled for the weekend, the fair is the perfect way to bring everyone together, he said.

"It's a way for a small community to get together and enjoy what everybody has to offer," he said. "Everybody pitches in. There's lots of volunteers."