LIMA — The Junior Fair is one of the most important parts of the Allen County Fair, involving youth and their various projects.
“The Junior Fair consists of the Allen County 4-H members, the schools that participate in FFA, and then the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Allen County,” said Kelly Coble, 4-H educator for Allen County.
Not everyone in the Junior Fair shows animals, but you can learn a lot by going through the barns.
“You’re going to notice how the animals are treated, the cleanliness of them, how they interact with the exhibitors — because those animals are like pets to them — and then you’re also going to realize those animals are eventually going into the food chain,” said Coble.
As part of the learning experience, people who go through the barns should ask the youngsters about their projects.
“I think they should ask them, like what things they’ve done with their livestock, what they’ve had to do to get to the fair. You should also ask them what are some of the things they do to get ready to show because they do get their chance to display their projects out into a ring to a judge to see who has the best market animal or breeding animal for those species,” she said.
Raising an animal can teach youngsters valuable life skills.
“It’s teaching them how to take care of an animal. It’s teaching them how to give that animal proper nutrition so that they can grow. It’s also very important because it’s teaching them time management. It’s enriching because they get that experience with those animals and the ability to see that animal grow and see that animal eventually go off to the market,” Coble added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.