It’s Fair time again in Barton County! 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.
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 are responsible for their care and training to prepare 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 accustomed to being handled by humans or being in close contact with them. It is the child that then calms them down and gets them used to a human presence close up. For some animals, that is being trained to a halter and walking with someone. For others, such as hogs, they need to be trained to walk calmly in a ring with other animals, guided by a small whip. The children work tirelessly making sure that their animals are at the weight they need to be, and 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 confidentially to a group, preparing for an upcoming job, and time management to effectively finish a project. The real world is tough but 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 6 and runs through the 10. Come out and support the youth of our communities and see what projects they have on display. It’s a fun filled five 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 with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 620-793-1910.