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Flowers wins top spot in Lea swine

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LOVINGTON — Fifteen-year-old Tatum resident Garrett Flowers took home the grand champion ribbon Tuesday from the Lea County Junior Livestock Show’s swine competition.

Garrett’s 217-pound light medium crossbreed pig, the grand champion male named Dias, also won best in breed designation.

The youth said getting up every morning since late April to work his pigs helped bring about his success in this, his sixth livestock showing.

Along with the rest of the families and supporters in Lea County, Garrett’s family exhibited more than just the pigs; they exhibited relief and pleasure that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham included youth livestock shows in last week’s updated public health order as activities that are allowed provided COVID-safe precautions are taken.

“I’ve just been working hard every day. I just try to have the best showmanship. I just always wanted to make sale and be humble about it,” Garrett said. “I just want to go up there and do good.”

His mother Kenda Flowers, who comes from a livestock showing family, takes little credit for Garrett’s win.

“I wake him up every morning. For the most part, he does all the work himself,” Kenda said. “When he was younger, I helped him quite a bit, but now he’s at the age where he can do it all by himself.”

Garrett credited his grandfather Justin Flowers, who owns a show pig business and provided the animals to the youth, for a great deal of support, as well.

“He (his grandfather) supplies me all my pigs, helps me out and tells me what to do,” Garrett said. He has five pigs, all of which he has shown.

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What will Garrett do now that he has this grand champion?

“I’m just going to go home and keep working my pigs every day until it’s time to show again,” Garrett said.

Reserve grand champion went to Nicole Sparks who showed a 274-pound jumbo crossbreed which also won the reserve best of breed.

A total of 73 swine were registered to show in the competition, with several of the exhibitors, including both Flowers and Sparks, showing multiple animals.

Later Tuesday, after press time, 85 goats showed in the fairgrounds show ring.

Today, lambs are to start arriving at 7 a.m. and showing at 9 a.m., with dairy heifers arriving at 2 p.m. and showing at 4 p.m. Registered are 71 lambs and 26 dairy heifers.

On Thursday, beef cattle (steers and beef heifers) are scheduled to start arriving at 7 a.m. with the first showing at 9 a.m., followed by poultry arriving at 1 p.m. and showing at 2 p.m. Registered are 27 steers, six beef heifers and 86 chickens.

There will be no admittance for the general public. In addition to the judges and show ring helpers, the state guidelines require attendance be limited to exhibitors and their immediate families.

The annual Junior Livestock Sale, concluding the junior livestock show, will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Curtis Wynne may be contacted at reporter3@hobbsnews.com.

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