Put kids and animals together and … voila! Instant photo opportunity!
Fair week is that one special week of the year when kids and animals come together not in the farmyard but at the Emmet County Fairgrounds. And they draw crowds as a result.
For 4-Hers just starting out, there remains a combination of excitement tinged with a little fear – fear that they won’t do as well as they had wished, fear that the animal may not follow as they would want in the ring, or fear that something unexpected could happen that would embarrass them.
The important thing to remember, of course, is that taking animals and exhibits to the county fair is a huge part of a learning experience for a 4-Her. A judge’s comments can teach them plenty that they can focus on next year.
Elizabeth Boyer, 11, of Ringsted and a member of the Jack Creek Feeders, is showing swine and a bucket bottle calf at this year’s fair. Her favorite part of the fair is the rides and showing livestock in the area.
Sara Harris, 10, of the High Lakers, is showing a market hogs and making pillows, cookies and clothing exhibits. She likes showing livestock. “Cleaning the pen” is her least favorite part of everything.
Weston Harris, 11, of the Ellsworth Ever Ready 4-H Club, said “working with my animals and being around my friends” is his favorite part of the fair. He’s showing a dog, sheep, bottle calf and poultry. This is Weston’s first year in 4-H. “I think it’s really fun,” Weston said.
Graye Farnum, 16, of the Estherville Experts, who has a few more years of 4-H under her belt with seven years as a member, is showing swine, sheep, and a heifer. “I like showing pigs the best,” Graye said.
The hardest part, though, is the competition. Graye admits, though, “I kind of like the competition.”