Area residents have good showing at 2011 State Fair
by Anna Thayn
Oct 05, 2011 | 1137 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The San Juan County booth received the award for Best Use of Theme at the Utah State Fair. Each county is given the opportunity to set up a display booth to promote their county at the fair.

This year’s theme, “It’s All Here”, was the title of the booth, which depicted a movie theater setting where images of many of the recreation activities and sites in San Juan County were used on the “movie screen”.

The San Juan County Fair also provides the opportunity for entries who received Best of Show awards at the county level to send their items to the state fair for judging.

Carolyn Smith of Blanding received the highest award possible, winning Best of Show for her Hopi Village model in the Creative Arts division.

Smith also received a first place award for the Hopi Village in the plastic craft category.  The village was originally only entered in the plastic craft category, but the supervisors of the Creative Arts division were so impressed with Smith’s work, they requested it be double entered in the fair in the models category as well.

Carmen Pitts of Monticello received first place in the knitting category in Home Arts for her knitted baby outfit.

Jeri Montella of Blanding also received first place in Home Arts in the machine quilting category.  

In the photography division, Brooke Pehrson of Blanding received first place in the professional division for portrait photography.

Richard Russell of Blanding received the second place award in the professional division of fine arts for his oil painting.  Russells “King Lear” painting received high praise of the judges in one of the most competitive divisions in the state fair.

Also receiving a second place award was Olivia Chamberlain of Monticello for her sculpture in the youth division of Creative Arts.

In the livestock division, local livestock producers Jim and Kyle Wheeler, who own and operate Wheeler Club Lambs, were the breeder of the Grand Champion Lamb for the second year in a row.

At the state fair level, there are over 200 lambs competing for the Grand Champion title each year.

The Wheelers started their breeding program 15 years ago and got into club lambs heavily in the past nine years, producing 80-100 club lambs each year that are bought and shown by youth in 4-H and FFA programs.

Wheeler Club Lambs have shown well at the San Juan County Fair for many years. In the past two years, ten of the 12 lambs in the Grand Champion classes of Jr. Livestock and Mini Livestock have been produced by Wheeler Club Lambs.

Jim Wheeler praised his son Kyle for the time he spends studying and watching the lamb competitions across the United States to identify the things that are forefront in the industry, and then working to establish the genetics that will improve their herd.

The Wheelers sell their stock throughout the west, and across the country, as far east as Indiana.  It is believed that the two winning Wheeler lambs are the first San Juan County produced lambs to ever win at the Utah State Fair.
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