More than 1,100 Projects were Entered in the Youth Fair - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/03/06 - Angelina County

More than 1,100 Projects were Entered in the Youth Fair

by Ramonica R. Jones

In East Texas, raising steer can bring a big profit, but for Dalton Murray it's also good experience, especially when competing against hundreds of other students for prizes.

Sometimes, the cost of competing is more than the reward.

Murray has spent a "couple thousand dollars for feed and the things used to get him ready."

Murray plans to enter Duke into the steer show for another three years - a show that takes a lot of time to prepare for.

Murray said preparation takes "months; lot of hours need to be put in working with your steer and trying to get them ready for this."

Jewel Bunk spent hundreds of dollars getting ready for the broiler show. He placed last in the event. Bunk spent almost $300 on feed for his chickens and another $500 building a home for them.

"I work and being in the military helps me a lot," said Bunk. "I'm getting a paycheck from the military and that's how I'm paying for most of my feed and building fences and stuff."

Bunk started out with 25 broilers, but only ended up with eight. Many of them died because they didn't get enough food or water. Some burned under a heating lamp. He learned some very hard lessons leading up to the competition, but has no regrets.

"I've been showing livestock for the past three years in high school and I figured I'd show something a little simpler, but it proved to be a little harder and more challenging because it was a smaller animal. It's harder to raise a smaller animal, to keep them up. I lost a lot of chickens in the doing of the project, but I learned a big lesson: it takes a lot of responsibility to raise something like this."

And he's not done yet. This is Bunk's last year in high school, but he plans to continue competing with horses.

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