Asa Clary is the 15 year old son of Dr. Bradley and Amy Clary of Lufkin. This will be his 2nd year to show a lamb in the Angelina County Fair, just five short weeks away.
Asa is the oldest of four in his family. He has a younger brother Dalton (14 years old) who also shows lambs, as well as his brother Zane (3) and sister Jaydon (7), the only girl in the family.
As a member of Lufkin FFA and Blue Ribbon 4-H, Asa has been participating in the County Fair for seven years, starting when he was in third grade. For the first five years, he raised and showed hogs. Though they did well with them, Asa says, “we were getting tired of them and my mom encouraged me to give lambs a try. We did and we really like showing them.” Last year’s County Fair was their first time to raise lambs.
Both of Asa’s parents were involved in showing livestock growing up. Raised in the Midland/ Odessa area, his mom showed lambs and his dad showed hogs.
The family agrees that meeting new people, getting to know them and helping them out has been one of the best parts of showing. Asa says, “We call them our ‘show family’. Outside and inside the show ring, we learn from each other – both from strengths and weaknesses.”
Asa and his mom agree that the hardest part is getting the lambs broke to lead and show. “You have to develop a bond with them,” Asa said, “so they’ll work with you and not against you in ring.” As you watch a lamb show, exhibitors have to ‘brace’ lambs, pushing back on them to flex their muscles. While the showman is pushing on them, they want your lamb to comfortably push back towards you and not back up.
He thought his most memorable time at the Fair was just last year when they were showing lambs for the first time. “My dad said we may not even make the sale. We ended up winning 3rd place in the heavy weight class and 5th place overall lamb! We were shocked as well as excited.”
His mom says that, “It’s just a good environment to be around. It’s a family environment.” Amy goes on to say that raising livestock and competing teaches great responsibility and sets a great example for the two youngest siblings that watch older brothers’ every move.
She laughed, “Especially our three-year-old son! He knows everything about the lambs and can already answer every question the judge asks.”
Asa’s dad, Dr. Bradley Clary, believes, “It’s one of the best character-building exercises that there is for adolescents. You know, there are so many negative influences out there. The raising and showing livestock teach youth ethics and responsibility as well as financial skills such as budgeting… so many of the skills needed to become a productive adult.”
Dr. Clary continued, “There is so much to learn if you just embrace it. You’ve got a snapshot of real life if you just look at these projects: raising livestock. That’s what I think is most important.”
Outside of raising lambs, Asa has entered the Public Speaking contest and, along with a few friends from school, is working on a shooting table in the AG Mechanics division. This year’s lamb show at the Angelina County Fair will be on Thursday, April 18 at the George H. Henderson Expo. The entire County Fair is from Tuesday, April 16 thru Saturday, April 20 concluding with the sale on Saturday evening. The lamb show begins immediately after the meat goat show. You can come watch Asa, his brother Dalton, and several other great youth competing.
Cary Sims is the County Extension Agent for agriculture and natural resources for Angelina County. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.