Local News

Saturday, Sep 21 2013 06:36 PM

Winning at the fair isn't everything, but for now it'll do

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Michelle Williams, a member of the Sundance 4-H organization, gives her Brahman, Tequila, a kiss and a hug after a bath Saturday in the livestock area of the Kern County Fair.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Kern Valley 4-H youngster Avery Keverline holds one of four hens he is showing at the Kern County Fair. He also has a rooster and a turkey, Mama Turk, he is showing over the next few days.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Avery Keverline works with his turkey, Mama Turk, Saturday at the Kern County Fair. He is showing the turkey along with four hens and a rooster. His mother Emily Keverline, is the Future Farmers of America adviser at Kern Valley High School.

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BY JOHN COX Californian staff writer jcox@bakersfield.com

Even if your real goal is becoming coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, it feels good to be a winner at the Kern County Fair. The scrambled eggs are a bonus.

Just ask 7-year-old Avery Keverline, Lake Isabella resident and second-year member of the Kern Valley 4-H club.

On Saturday, he showed four birds and walked away with two titles: Best of Breed for his 6-month-old Partridge Rock chicken, and Best of Large Trio for his set of two hens and a rooster.

His turkey, a 6-month-old female named Mama Turk, didn't take home any prizes, owing to her svelte figure. But that's just as well: At more than half Keverline's size, Mama Turk has been a handful.

He said turkeys are too big and take up too much space back home. Raising chickens, on the other hand, is "pretty fun."

"I had to feed them every day and water 'em," he said. "I need to check for eggs and let 'em out." (And yes, he prefers those eggs scrambled, not fried.)

Dressed in a white western shift, wranglers and cowboy boots, Keverline handled his birds with confidence Saturday, even if he sometimes relied on a little help from his mom, Emily Keverline.

His sister, 11-year-old Anne, was in on the action, too. She was showing two pigs Saturday. Avery said hopes to work his way up to pigs as well.

Last year, in his first time showing animals at the fair, he took second place in the category of Market Turkeys.

But don't get the idea that's all the fair is to him. He's a little boy, after all.

"I like showing my birds and I like riding the rides," he said. "They're all really fun."

Nor do all his dreams revolve around winning ribbons. What he really wants is a pennant.

A catcher and shortstop in Little League, Avery has his sights set on the majors, specifically the Dodgers.

Just so long as he can do that without having to give up his animals.

"I wanna have pigs and chickens and turkeys. And I also wanna coach baseball," he said.

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