As everyone lines up in the show ring, the voices over the loud speakers throughout the barns announced the start time and lineup for the first class.
The voices we all hear, but do not always put names with, are just as important as the judge evaluating the livestock. The voices keep the flow of the show moving and help keep order during a time that could easily be chaotic and crazy.
Dr. Randall Williams has been a superintendent at the State Fair of Texas® for 24 years. He knows all too well the importance of the loud speaker and how they keep the event running as smooth as possible.
“I was asked to be a superintendent in 1990. Since then, I have been active with the show and have filled in wherever possible.”
Williams may be behind the announcer’s stand one day and helping line up heifers to enter the ring the next.
Williams said, “Either way, I enjoy it and enjoy helping wherever I can.” Dr. Williams exhibited Hereford steers for eight years through his county’s 4-H chapter.
“The State Fair gave me my beginning,” Williams said. “With showing steers at the State Fair, I was able to take the winnings from the year before and use them to purchase that year’s steers.”
After high school, Williams graduated from Texas Tech University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree, and in 1976 with a master’s degree in Agricultural Education. In 1981, he completed his doctorate and began his teaching career shortly afterward. Dr. Williams is a Piper Professor Award winner for being one of Top Ten Collegiate Professors in the state of Texas for 2013.
New to the State Fair ‘voice’ for this year is Terry Starnes. Terry, a 30-year rodeo announcer, isn’t new to livestock show announcing. Terry has been announcing the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo heifer show for 13 years and announces about 35 rodeos a year.
“It’s a change of pace from the rodeo business to the show cattle business, but, fortunately for me, with both ways I get the great opportunity to view some really good stock,” Starnes said.
Starnes, like Williams, also began coming to the State Fair of Texas at a young age. “I started coming here when I was a member of the 4-H chapter. We would come down here for school trips to see the livestock and partake in the fair activities,” Starnes said. “It has changed a lot, but the tradition is still the same it is still THE State Fair of Texas.”
Throughout the day on October 6, you could hear both of these men announcing to exhibitors and to the public about class information, results, and important announcements. They help keep the sanity in the cattle barn. The guys aren’t just voices, they are the main aspect of what makes the State Fair of Texas so successful.
“When I was asked to be a superintendent, it was my opportunity to give the State Fair of Texas, just a small amount of everything it has given to me,” said Williams. “I am proud to say that I have been able to work for something so important for a quarter of a century of my life.”