Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Go to the Fair - Isabella County Fair (through Saturday July 29th)

This week (24 - 29 July 2017), the Isabella Conservation District has a booth at the Isabella County Fair.  Today Shara (Mrs. LeValley) joined me at the fair for a few hours and we took time to walk around all of the exhibits and animal barns.

Shara with a new friend

Until I moved away to college (at age seventeen), I lived on and around farms.  Every year we would go to the county fair - visiting the merchant buildings (where local businesses always gave things away to kids and adults), checking out the arts & crafts and other exhibits, climbing on new tractors and other farm machinery, riding carnival rides, and more!

The Ferris Wheel

One of the highlights was visiting the different animal barns.  Although I never showed animals at the fair many of my friends did.  I always saw people that  I knew when we went to the fair.

The animal buildings at the fair are still a highlight for me.  Now, when I go to the fair, I see the children of friends and co-workers exhibiting animals.  I also see lots of students from classrooms that I visit.  The students always want to tell me about their animals (especially if they won prizes).

Here are a few pics of animals from the fair.

A stylish sheep

Being a hog is tiring

A pen of goat kids
Rabbits are one of the most popular animals to show

Shara conversing with a prize-winning pen of chickens

Dairy feeders

Teens showing beef cattle

I think everyone should visit their local county fair.  With less and less people growing up around farms and being connected to agriculture, this is one of the few opportunities that many people have to interact with farm animals (or even see them up close).  For the kids that exhibit animals, the fair provides an opportunity to develop responsibility as they raise and then show their animals.  Many of the animals are then sold at the fair, earning the kids money for their hard work.  Local businesses and individuals will often pay big bucks for animals especially champions.

If you visit the Isabella County fair, stop into the Merchant's Building and say hello to me (or other conservation district staff), eat at the 4-H food stand (the food is good and the money goes to support 4-H and the fair), and be sure to see all of the animals.

If you can't visit the Isabella County Fair, visit one of the other county fairs held across the state between now and September.

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