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Youth, animals keep cool during hot AgFest
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The large livestock projects at San Joaquin Agfest kept cool during San Joaquin AgFest with plenty of water and cooling down with an electric. - photo by VINCE REMBUILAT/ The Bulletin

 STOCKTON – The Dog Days of San Joaquin AgFest?

Temperatures soared to in the high 90s during the junior livestock and auction this week.

Large fans cooled down cattle along with many of the larger animals during the week.

Amanda Martinez, who is an advisor for the Manteca High Future Farmers of America chapter, was concerned about pigs and swine handling the heat.

As for the goats?

Most of the livestock goats at AgFest had origins from Africa. In other words, “they’re used to this weather,” she said.

Those from the various FFA sported their chapter jackets during the judging of their livestock projects.

Renee Maragos remembered her days of showing animals for Ripon High FFA. “Back then, the (junior) livestock show was held in August,” she said.

Her daughter Olivia and youngest son, Matthew, both showcased their market sheep at AgFest.

Olivia is a sixth-grade student at Colony Oak Elementary School and the Ripon 4-H Club – she made sure to provide plenty of water to the animal given the rising afternoon temperatures. Matthew is a sophomore at Ripon High. He’s also with the RHS FAA chapter.

They purchased their livestock in March from Morino Brothers of Escalon and have been housing them at the RHS Clinton School Farm.

Olivia Maragos’ market sheep named ‘Nibble’ took second place in show, with the sheep belonging to Colton Morino of the Ripon 4-H Club being awarded Reserve Champion.

AgFest is gearing up for today’s costume contest.

That’s where FFA and 4-H Club members will dress in costume accordingly to match that of their animal.

“My daughter dressed as a paparazzi and her sheep was Lady Baba,” said Michelle Matos, who is one of the advisors to the junior Agfest board, referencing pop singer Lady Gaga for the guise of the ovine.

The costume contest will take place at 5 p.m. at the San Joaquin County fairgrounds.

For more information, log on to www.sanjoaquinagfest.org.