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Barbecue from scrap

Laura Brown
Staff Writer

The only girl in her school’s Ag Mechanics class, Katelyn Sweet took home the highest bid for the cowboy kitchen she made from recoiled junk found on her grandpa’s 36-acre ranch.

Sweet took home $5,500 this weekend and the fair’s Proud Tradition Award for a custom built ice chest and barbecue set in a wagon.

“It was all built from scratch. It’s actually like a go-green project.” Sweet estimates it cost her $500 to build the cowboy kitchen.

She rummaged her grandpa’s ranch on Wolf Road to find wagon wheels, wood and an old barbecue destined for the landfill. Using her welding skills, Sweet took wagon wheels apart and rebuilt them using salvaged wood from an old house.

Even before she took her first ag mechanics class at Bear River High School, she was looking over her dad’s and brother’s shoulders as they built parts for race cars. She plans to take the course for the fourth time as a senior.

“It’s really fun. Everything’s hands on. You can build anything,” Sweet said. She plans to study Ag Business in college and go to beauty school.

“I like working with guys and being a queen and dressing up,” Sweet said. She raised a steer this year in her school’s FFA program.

Last year, the same buyers purchased a table made by Sweet for $5,000.

“They liked the theme I was going with and they wanted it to match,” Sweet said.

Clayton Green, a senior at Bear River High School, received second place from the fair for a patio table he built, and Ben Granholm, a junior from Nevada Union, received first place from the fair for his Western cooler.

On Sunday, the last day of the fair, FFA students dressed in their uniforms led their freshly bathed steers down the runway to the busy sale ring of the Junior Livestock Auction where auctioneers called out bids in a frenzied twangy rap.

This year there were 1433 junior livestock entries and 1268 junior livestock exhibitors.

Noah Mertens, 10, was satisfied with the $2.75 he’ll get per pound for his 1,281 pound Polled Hereford, named Ben after the U.S. statesman found on the $100 bill.

“It’s all for college,” Mertens said.


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