The Presidio County 4-H Club held its 2nd Annual County Fair at the big red barn in Marfa last weekend. Although it drew many spectators, the focus of the event was on showcasing the accomplishments of young 4-H members in the community.
The day’s activities included youth roping, horse riding, and archery, with contests in baking, quilting, veterinary science, wildlife identification and Ag-Mechanics. At the Outdoor Challenge table, participants were invited to test their ability to identify the skulls and pelts of local wildlife, including many species of deer and large predatory birds.
I spoke to Zorayma Lackey, whose son won first place in the Junior Level Photography contest.
“I mean we like the leadership skills that he has gained, and then also the responsibility. I think 4H has helped him a lot in his growth and development, too,” she said.
The 4-H spirit permeated the event. Banners hanging around the barn were printed with the motto, “Yes, 4-H is more than cows, pigs and chickens!” Texas 4-H Leader Kimberlie Kirkpatrick echoes this sentiment.
“It’s just teaching you what you can do outside of school and sports. You can make stuff with your hands, and it’s just learning about different things that might help you in the real live world,” she said.
Bailey Walker, a senior at Marfa ISD, won first place in the Ag-Mechanics contest. Her entry was a hand-forged, hand-bent metal table designed to look like a tree. And not just any tree – it’s modeled after the Whomping Willow, a tree in the Harry Potter series. It took Bailey four months to make her table.
“It kind of fits into the contemporary art that we have going on in Marfa now, which is something new, and I’m not against or fully for. I’m just kind of in the middle, and this is my creation to go into it,” she said.
Bailey sees her place in the larger community of makers here in Marfa.
“At this point I’ve been inspired and I want to become an Ag teacher, to continue, and to let people know that agriculture is definitely the way to go, and you really still need it.”