Fun at the fair
It doesn’t matter how big or small a county fair is one thing is for certain. It all began with kids and animals and an organization called 4-H that brought them together.
In fact, without 4-H and kids and animals, the argument could be made that there wouldn’t be any fairs at all.
The Emmet County Fair kicked off Thursday with horse and sheep shows, tractor pull, and the fashion show and fair queen contest.
Courtney Kinnander, 18, of the Iowa Lake 4-Hers was busy washing her pens of pigs Thursday. She’ll also be showing a pen of beef, cow-calf pair, and two market steers. If you’re familiar at all with what 4-H and the county fair is all about, you know that’s an awful lot of work.
Kinnander has been showing pigs and cows since she was in the fourth grade. You could say that’s made her an expert.
“It gives me something to do,” Kinnander said. “It’s a lot of work but it’s fun doing it. It makes money.”
Kinnander says she usually does “pretty decent” in premium money from the livestock she shows. “This year hopefully I’ve got pretty decent pigs. We’ll see how they show.”
Kinnander, who graduated from Armstrong-Ringsted High School this spring, is going on to Morningside where she’ll major in graphic design and either advertising or photography.
Even if she finds a job in the big city, though, she’ll always be a country girl at heart.
“I’m not really a city type of person,” Kinnander said.
Emily Lair, 15, of the 12-Mile Lakers is showing one lead steer and a rabbit this year, her sixth in 4-H. She says she enjoys being at the fair and having a good time. For Lair, being in 4-H and raising and showing livestock is a natural step toward her career goal of becoming a veterinarian.
Lair admits that the hardest part of bringing an animal to the fair is getting him broken to lead. She says when she’s picking out an animal for a 4-H project she can usually tell if it will be easy to break if it’s a fairly docile calf.
Mara Irmiter, 14, also of the Iowa Lake 4-Hers, is showing three steers this year. She says the hardest part of showing animals is getting them used to the fair environment once they’re here. She’s sort of an old hand herself, having been in 4-H since fourth grade.
Emily Chrestiansen, 12, a member of the 12-Mile Lakers, says one of the biggest challenges is halter breaking livestock. She’s showing steers and a heifer.
Paige Hoffmeyer, 14, of the Ellsworth Go-Getters, is showing a chicken and has projects including cookies, a dress, and a Go-Green environmental display board.
The fair continues through Sunday.