Curtis Williams, 17, blows dirt out of the hair of his steer “Secret Weapon” Saturday at his farm in Clovis. Williams will show the 1325 pound steer in this years Curry County Fair. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer
Curtis Williams starts every day — even weekends — at 6 a.m. by feeding and washing the steers he plans to show at this week’s Curry County Fair.
Lambs and pigs are next in line to receive feed. He spends the next hour or so cleaning out the barns before finally “taking a few hours break.”
The routine begins again at 8 every evening when the 17-year-old Texico High senior makes the rounds to wash, feed and secure the animals for the night.
Family members have been showing animals for more than 15 years, according to Williams’ mother, Tana.
Curtis followed in his older sisters’ footsteps and began with lambs. He then branched out into pigs and steers. He said he doesn’t have a favorite, but pigs are the easiest.
“I’ve been around animals since I was 4 or 5 years old,” Williams said. “I started showing in fairs when I was 9.”
Daily exercise is also part of his day.
“We made a track,” he said. “We have to run the lambs around it.”
The pigs and steers don’t require much effort on his part as far as the exercise goes, he said, “I just turn them out and they play around.”
Although much of his time is spent on the show animals, Curtis Williams said he still has time for his friends and basketball. He is also an active member of FFA, where he competes in judging livestock.
Tana Williams loves what showing animals has done for her family.
“It has taught them responsibility,” she said. “It taught them how to compete and how to lose gracefully.”
Tana Williams said her son has had the opportunity to meet people from all over with similar interests. She also likes the fact that the hobby keeps him busy. “I think that is important for teenagers,” she said.
Curtis Williams plans to show eight lambs, six pigs and two steers this year.
“I’ve always done really well in the past,” he said. “Last year I had a grand champion.”
Clovis High junior DeeAnn Shafer also plans to compete in the junior livestock show at the Curry County Fair. Shafer has shown lambs since she was 9.
Shafer’s daily routine is similar to Curtis Williams.’ “I spend two hours in the morning and two hours at night cleaning and feeding my eight lambs,” said Shafer, who is active in FFA and 4-H.
Shafer also has a track at her house, which she uses to exercise her lambs.
“I just run them around the track by chasing them,” she said.
The ultimate goal is to make the junior livestock sale, in which individuals and area businesses purchase animals.
Tana Williams said Curtis has made enough money from prior shows to make a considerable contribution to his college fund.