It’s Fair time again in Barton County! The youth from all of our communities have been working hard on their various projects, and will be displaying them for the community to see. Whether you enjoy photography, artwork, or livestock, there is something for everyone at the fair.
As the Agriculture and Natural Resource agent, I tend to spend most of my time in Expo 3 with the livestock, and the 4-Hers that are responsible for them. All animals must be acquired for the fair by May 1st to be eligible for the shows. The children then for the next several months have to care for them and train them for showing. This requires a lot of time and effort to have an animal ready in time. Animals, when they are brought home, may not be used to being handled by humans, or being in close contact with them. It is the child that then calms them down and get them used to a human presence close up. For some animals, that is being trained to a halter and walking with someone. Other animals, it is required that they are even picked up for examination. I know from experience that a chicken is not going to sit calmly while someone picks them up and turns them over for examination without being conditioned to the experience previously. Nor is a hog going to walk calmly in a ring with other hogs, guided by a small whip. The children work tirelessly making sure that their animals are at the weight they need to be, are clean and calm for show day. Some of the children in the project even attend classes and workshops to learn how to be a better show-person in the ring. What you are seeing when you make it out to the fair is the culmination of all that hard work and effort.
All of this hard work is a valuable learning experience for the 4-Hers that will help them out later in life. By learning life skills early, they are better equipped to handle situations as adults such as speaking confidently to a group, preparation for an upcoming job, and time use to effectively finish a project. The real world is tough and 4-H and the projects that they complete for the fair help the children prepare for the world when they grow up.
The Fair starts July 9th and runs till the 13th. Come out and support the youth of our communities and see what projects they have on display. It’s a fun filled 5 days of the children showing off all of their hard work, and an enjoyable time for the entire family. For a schedule of events, you can go to bartoncountyfair.com. We hope to see you all there!
Alicia Boor is the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Barton County K-State Research and Extension. You can contact her by e-mail at email@example.com or calling 620-793-1910