To continue a long-standing agricultural tradition, the Hay Show took place on October 20, 2020, sponsored by the Hopkins/Rains County Soil and Water Conservation District. One of the goals of the Hay Show is to provide agricultural producers an opportunity to test their forages. And, in support of the students of Hopkins and Rains counties, the SWCD extends scholarships to qualifying high school students studying agriculture sciences. One such student, Kyler Moore, recently received the 2019 Scholarship of $1500. Kyler’s hay entries also placed well in the Hay Show both in 2019 and 2020. Any high school senior in Hopkins or Rains County can apply, and entry in the Hay Show is not a requirement. Contact your County Agent or phone the HRCSWCD office at 903-885-4433 ext. 3 for more details or a Scholarship application.
There were 31 hay entries in the 2020 show. Hay varieties ranged from types of Coastal Bermudagrass including Common, Jiggs and Tifton 85 to a seeded variety called “World Feeder”. Protein ratings ranged from 17.26 % to 12.49%. During early October, hay producers submitted their forage samples to the County Extension office, and these went to the testing facility at NE Texas Farmer’s Co-op in Sulphur Springs. Irene Hansen, a lab employee of the Co-op, tested each of the samples for protein and other quality features, creating a useful and free report for hay producers. Hansen ‘s testing also created a list of the top ten forages based on protein content, which was submitted it to the HRCSWCD office. Then, the top qualifiers along with county hay producers, sponsors and buyers were invited to attend the Hay Show on October 20, where a brisket and sausage lunch was served by Andy and Mary Lou Wright. Andy also served as emcee of the Show and was assisted by Faith Wheeler. Wade Bartley served as Auctioneer for the top ten hay samples. Buyers represented local banks and businesses catering to agriculture producers.
Here’s how the Auction went:
Grand Champ Tommy Long, 17.26%, buyer Alliance Bank $1000
Reserve Champ Ricky Glossup 15.96%, buyer H/RCounty Farm Bureau $750
3rd Kyler Moore 14.04%, buyer CNB Emory $600
4th Randy Koon 13.86%, buyer $600 Potts Feed Store Emory
5th Tim Loper 13.82%, buyer H/R County Farm Bureau $500
6th Henry Potts 13.63%, buyer CNB Sulphur Springs $600
7th Ricky Glossup 13.15%, buyers NETxF Co-op/HRC Farm Bureau $$650
8th Tommy Long 12.86%, buyers H/RC Farm Bureau, Farmers Co-op $675
9th Leon Gunn 12.58%, buyer H/RCounty Farm Bureau, $800
10th Kyler Moore 12.49%, buyers Tx Heritage Ntl Bank and Longhorn Tire, Service of Mt. Vernon, $800.
Hay producer Don Smith reminisced that decades ago, before there were round bales in Hopkins County, producers would bring a square bale to the show for judging. Forage samples were sent off to Texas A&M in College Station for analysis. The Hopkins County Hay Show was held in various places, such as on the Sulphur Springs downtown square and under the covered walk at the Spring Village Shopping Center. Don’s wife Marilyn was County Extension agent back then, and she would sometimes put on a Pet Show during the Hay Show to get the kids involved. 4H was quite popular then with both town and farm families, giving youngsters a chance at many different types of hands-on learning and practical knowledge.
Today, the Hopkins Rains County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors upholds the same values, with another of their goals to support area 4H and FFA Chapters with natural resources education. The HRCSWCD became the sponsor of the Hay Show in 2019, and renamed it the Hopkins/Rains County Hay Show. It’s 5-member Board of Directors is made up of one representative from Rains County and one from each of the four Precincts in Hopkins County. Moneys raised from Hay Show buyers goes into the Scholarship Fund.