A Family, A Fair

Harrison Epstein harrison@glenrockind.com

Only a few of the Williams’ family animals are on their land. While the family matriarch, Nicole Williams, and three of her four kids are around the house, the horses and cows are around the mountains.
The Williams family lives just outside of Glenrock, past Deer Creek. With their older brother Jadon off in the Naval Academy, it was up to the remaining three to represent the family at the Central Wyoming Fair. All of the animals have as much freedom as they could hope for, with most allowed to roam as they see fit—though all seem to know to avoid Nicole’s garden.
Each member of the family had their entries to the fair. Nine-year-old Joel Williams earned several purple ribbons for non-animal entries and will move on to the state competition. Between Joel and his older sisters, Adelaide and Caitilyn, the family took home dozens of ribbons, bows and Adelaide claimed several championship prizes.
Despite living in Converse County, they went to Casper for the fair as a favor. In Casper they were forced to compete with over 100 others in most categories, including the agriculture teachers at the schools.
“We don’t live with the animals, that’s not all we do, so for them to go in there and get fourth is pretty huge,” Nicole said.
This was the fifth year that Adelaide and Caitilyn competed at the fair and the third for Joel. The fairs are serious for the Williams family. Each kid brought their own crop of animals to show and sell. Caitilyn brought four dairy goats and a pair of pigs, as well as a crew of five lambs. Despite showing two of them, Caitilyn had issues with the pigs.
“Sometimes I’d lay with them and rub their ears and they’re cute, but sometimes they just make me so mad,” she said.
The la mancha and registered grade la mancha dairy goats won reserve and grand showings for Caitilyn. Joel also took home fourth and fifth place prizes in a handful of categories for his lambs and pigs. Joel’s gut instinct was that his favorite part of the fair was showing. After another second of thought he corrected himself in favor of selling.
“I have to save it for next year so I can buy my animals again,” Joel said.
Without letting a second pass by, Nicole reminds her son that it’s never a bad time to start saving money for college. The biggest relationship for Adelaide was with her steer, Hyde, named after the character from That 70’s Show because of the steer’s afro. Adelaide worked with, and raised, Hyde for 10 months, nurturing him from 700 pounds to over 1,300.
After never working too closely with a steer, the two’s bond grew over the months. The steer had the one of the top rates of gain among all of the entered steers. When the ultrasound was run across Hyde’s back, the judges found that it had far less than 0.5 inches of back fat.
It was at measured at 0.076 inches, less than a calf is typically born with. What happened was that the cow took in the fat and marbled its interior meat with the fat. The family joke was that Adelaide massaged and sang to him. This is the second year that the Williams family won first place for the ultrasound after Caitilyn’s steer took home the prize last year.
“We just feed them well,” Adelaide joked.
Hyde was sold at the Central Wyoming Fair but will still be shown at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas in mid-August. When it comes to the showmanship events, presentation is the key. To get the animals prepared, they use different shampoos and luxury treatments to get everything from the steers to pigs looking their best.
Showmanship is also the best opportunity for the people and their animals to show off their relationship. While her siblings did as well, Adelaide presented her steer, with a fresh shampoo wash.
“I take better care of his hair than I do mine,” Adelaide said.
Her and Caitilyn took the chance to remind one another of their adventures with the presentation adhesive and Joel’s hair, which was stuck in his hair for three days. While the family laughs at their past antics, one of the family dairy goats wanders over to a tree in the front yard and nibbles on the bark just out of eyesight.
While all of the Williams children are dedicated to their animals and showing them, it’s just a part of their lives. They all play multiple sports and engage in extracurriculars at their schools.
In addition to three sports, Adelaide is the Student Senate secretary and president of two other clubs. Caitlyn spends her time playing basketball and volleyball while Joel plays football, basketball and wrestling.
At the end of the day, the strongest bonds are between each other. They tease each other and joke at every possible chance because that’s who they are. When the summer comes to a close and the Williams trio goes back to school, the activities will change, but the closeness never will.
Every story told by one, sometimes to embarrass their sibling, would segue right into the next. It’s lightning fast. Before they’ve finished laughing at Adelaide while she recalls trying to braid Hyde’s hair, they’re on to the next story. It was Joel’s seemingly peach-like ability to come away with an injury from the slightest contact to Caitilyn giving one of her former teachers a discount on a pig because she liked his class.
The Williams are like most families. They love each other dearly and harshly. One of Nicole’s favorite stories from the Central Wyoming Fair was how the three worked together. If one was showing a certain animal to the judges, the others weren’t being ignored. If Joel was showing his goats, Adelaide and Caitiliyn were in the pen with the rest of his creatures to ready them for their turn in the spotlight.
Fair showing isn’t a team sport, but watching the Williams family, it very well could be.


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