Cow show and sale highlights opening weekend of the Manatee County Fair in Palmetto.
The cattle show and sale at the Manatee County Fair on Jan. 15 was a bittersweet moment for Lakewood Ranch High School FFA member Madeline Fields.
While others were getting ready to sell their cows at the annual event, Fields was slowly walking Peso the cow toward the showing area. Fields is a senior at Lakewood Ranch, meaning that her journey with Peso would mark the end of her showing cattle as she prepares to go to college this fall.
"I'm a little sadder this year because I know it's my last year," Fields said.
Peso also was a favorite of the Lakewood Ranch FFA since he was born.
"He's always was a calm calf and easy to work with," Fields said. "(But) his mom was stubborn, and he's definitely picked up some of that."
Fields said she wants to go to college to be a veterinarian and that the skills she's learned while raising cows with the FFA will help her achieve that goal.
In the midway area outside of the Mosaic Arena, revelers enjoyed an afternoon of games, rides, shows and treats on a picturesque Saturday afternoon. Bradenton's Al Barrett was one of the day's biggest winners. He was walking around the midway with a giant stuffed blue sloth that was so large that he had to enlist the help of Allison Bizata and Kailee Hooey, both of Bradenton, to help him carry it.
"I won this thing by hitting three targets in one shot," Barrett said with a grin.
The Manatee County Fair continues through Jan. 23 in Palmetto.
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