Livestock contests underway at the Highland County Fair

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HIGHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) It’s sheep time at the Highland County Fair

“Yesterday I covered hogs and cattle," says livestock contest judge Olivia Claire. "And then today we covered goats, and now we’re going to finish up with sheep.”

It's a subject that covers both newcomers, muscling their sheep into the right position, and vets.

“I’ve done this for seven years," says 16-year-old competitor Daniel Judy. "It’s more of a family tradition, I think of it as.”

And they all work to make sure their sheep looks the best.

“Make sure their back feet are squared with each other," Judy says, showing with his sheep. "Make sure they have, like, look long with their muscle so everything extended out with their muscle.”

“In the end, these are all market animals," explains Claire. "So muscle shape, dimension, that type of thing is really important. And then how they move about the ring is really good as well.”

Their performance in the contest is the product of months of work for every animal.

“It’s very hard in the end, seeing them go after working with them," Judy says. "Not being able to see them.”

Because, come Saturday, these show animals are indeed still market animals, and they go on the auction block.

Judy says, “I use most of my money that I make to go to college, hopefully.”

And hopefully, they'll go for a good price.

“I don’t know what I was expecting," Claire says. "But these are very high quality animals.”