By Bev Odom/The Red River Sun—
AMARILLO — Family and friends of the late Don Reeves gathered at the Vance Reed Livestock Center at the Tri-State Fairgrounds Sept. 25 for a wash rack dedication ceremony.
“The Don Reeves Wash Racks were dedicated in honor of all his years of service and his determination to get the facilities upgraded for exhibitors in the future,” said Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife spokesperson.
Reeve’s career began in 1965 with the Texas A&M Extension Service. He moved to Collingsworth County in 1968 as the agricultural agent and became an active volunteer with the Amarillo Tri-State Fair.
Eventually serving as livestock superintendent, Reeves involvement in junior livestock shows at the Tri-State Fair spanned more than 50 years as a youth leader, volunteer, board member and then superintendent.
In 2015, the Tri-State Fair board named Reeves Ambassador of the Year. He worked to install the wash rack but died April 22, 2020 at the age of 82 before the completion of the project.
Joe Baumgardner, one of Reeves’ early Collingsworth youth, won an Amarillo steer show in the early 1970s as a junior high student under Reeves leadership. Baumgardner attended the Sept. 25 wash rack dedication ceremony.
“From my steer show years to my early farming years and my own kids’ livestock show seasons, I just learned so much from Don,” he said.
Texas A&M AgriLife notables Paul Gross, Dr. Bob Robinson and Jim Allison spoke at the dedication event.
“Don would have been pleased, especially seeing the wash rack in operation today,” said his wife Katherine Reeves following the Sept. 25 dedication event.
Among the youth utilizing the new Don Reeves Wash Rack were Madison and Briley Waters, who showed their steers Sept. 26 during the Tri State Fair event.
Madison placed first in her class with her lightweight steer and seventh in class with her middle weight steer. Briley placed second with her lightweight steer and sixth with her heavyweight steer.
More than 1,800 youth from across the Panhandle competed in the 2020 Tri-State Fair livestock events.