Each year the Butte County Fair's Junior Livestock Auction brings hundreds of animals together along with many FFA and 4-H members spanning Butte County for four days of competing, showing and selling.
This auction is a success in a multitude of ways each and every year and this year's was no exception.
There are many "firsts" throughout the four day fair but the one that comes to mind first is the fact that for the first time in Butte County Fair history, three siblings were each awarded championships.
Samantha Johnson, in her final year showing, won Reserve FFA Champion and with her sister Miranda won Showmanship Reserve Champion.
Miranda was awarded Champion for 4-H and Grand Champion overall.
Brenden Johnson received FFA Championship and Reserve Grand Champion Overall.
Their parents Monte and Vicky Johnson, are of course proud of their kids and were feeling bittersweet about Samantha's last year to show knowing this was the last year for all three to compete.
The siblings also competed at the Silver Dollar Fair in Chico and the State Fair this year.
All three had swine this year and give much of the credit to Samantha Waterbury's pigs which she started breeding in 2013 with help from her parents Eric and Corinna.
With 15 litters this year, and an average of 15-20 litters each year, the Waterbury's had plenty to choose from for area kids with 20 sows.
The family is busy as their pigs are not only sold in Butte County, but also in Napa, Yuba Sutter and even Kern County.
Besides seeing the Johnson kids do so well this year, Eric Waterbury expressed his happiness for Alyssa Thompson of Manzanita 4-H who was named Reserve 4-H Champion.
Samantha Waterbury is a Ag Business Major with an Ag Science Minor at Butte College and of course competed at the Butte County Fair several years. Next, she will go to Chico State when she receives her AA at Butte College.
The prize winning pigs the Waterbury's sell are the result of hard work and traveling all over for good breeding stock. Besides California, they have traveled as far as Ohio, Missouri and Texas to find good genetics force. They have done a lot of research on breeding for quality and if this year's fair is any indication, they are breeding pigs for the young ones ready to enter 4-H and then FFA ready to make their mark on the local auction, in hopes of hitting it big like the Johnson's!
Twelve-year-old Ella Hughes was showing at the Butte County Fairgrounds for the first time and walked away with a first in Junior 4-H Showmanship for goats and moved up to compete against 4-H seniors and took third in showmanship. She placed Reserve Champion in Market class for 4-H junior goats and won the Round Robin on Friday for Junior 4-H.
Tyler Wilkerson did it up right in his last year to compete at the fair's sheep show earning the title of Top Showman and FFA Champion Lamb. Brother Brian had turkeys to show and won Reserve Champion Turkey and Showmanship going on to earn the buckle in Small Animal Round Robin.
Results of the Butte County Fair will appear in The Gridley Herald's Results Tab in September.