Un “fair” experience at the fair


letters to the editorAn unfortunate incident impacted my family this year at the fair.  My son Andrew was scratched from the Jr. Livestock Auction on March 4, 2016 and he could not participate in the auction because ownership of his animal could not be proven by the fair through the DNA testing.

According to what I was told, the laboratory could not process a DNA test because the two DNA sample bags, which we turned-in two months ago, were empty.  I had no conceivable explanation as to how the hair Andrew pulled from his calf and placed in the two DNA sample bags disappeared.

After the Fair was over on March 10, 2016 the laboratory found some hair in the DNA bags and on March 15, 2016 I was informed that the hair samples from Andrew’s bag samples were a positive DNA match to the fair’s hair samples.

The laboratory results were a few days late and a couple of dollars short since Andrew was pulled from the auction line-up and was not able to sell at a premium price with the other champion calves at the fair’s auction.

My son, Andrew Batley Roman, is currently the Calexico FFA president.  He is a senior and will be graduating from Calexico High School this year.  Throughout his high school years my son has participated in numerous sectional, regional, and state FFA activities and competitions.  He has been involved in showing animals at the California Mid-Winter Fair since he was in 4th grade at OLGA and we were involved with the Holtville 4H club, and the past three years with Calexico High School, his FFA his calf projects have been blanketed as reserve champions.

Andrew’s California Mid-Winter Fair 2016 entry was a Holstein calf named “Spur” which he purchased locally and cared for since December 12, 2015.  Spur and Andrew won the showmanship competition, Spur was the Reserve Champion for FFA, they both did well at the Round Robin competition.

Nonetheless, Andrew still has Spur and needs to sell him.  Andrew has continued to take care for his calf since we removed him from the fairgrounds and he needs to conclude his animal project.  If you are interested in purchasing Spur, please feel free to contact Andrew B. Roman at 760-895-3805.

He did not want me to send this e-mail but I did any way.

Gerardo Roman


  1. Steve is correct this is the labs error but also the fairs as well as they didn’t have a system in place in case of errors like this happening. Fair market value would not be enough as actual market is probably only a couple hundred dollars and he probably has at least $1500 invested. If it was my kid I would get an attorney fast

  2. Steve, if the posts I’ve read here are based on facts; your suggestion of “the fair should be fair” is not happening. Sad.

  3. Sounds like the lab service that was used, not the fair board should be helid responsible for the error. The fair board should put a process in place in the case of an error like this and then hold the check back after the sell, until the situation can be resolved. In this case the lab resolved the problem, but unfortunately it was too late. A lab service made an error a few years back at state fair, accused a kid of using a horse drug on their lamb. The sample was retested after protest and found to be a lab error. But the damage was already done. The fair should be fair and error on the side of the kid, until it can be resolved. Sounds like a new policy change for the fair.

  4. Sounds like this kid was screwed. He should have been rewarded for all his hard work. I have lived here for a few years and my kids have participated in FFA and 4-H since we moved here. I learned real quick that the process is not a even and fair play field for those kids who aren’t from affluent families.

  5. What is the fair board doing to correct this. And why has there been no penalties to those several kids from prestigious families at the drug and alcohol party where many had to go to the hospital. We seen some of those same kids in the auction. Not fair in my opion

  6. How disappointing! The fair board needs to be called out for an error that could’ve happened to anyone!! They could have caused the problem. As the Reserve Grand Champion they caused your son to be passed over for several thousand of dollars. Has Calexico’s FFA advisor got involved? I suggest your son send letters to his previous buyers & see if someone can help him out. He won’t make what he would have but hopefully he can break even. I would also put this article in the IV Press. By making this information known you can help prevent this from happening in the future to another fair participant. Sometimes you need to put your foot down and this is the time. Your son must have worked very hard with his project and I wish I could help unfortunately, I am unable too.

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