Fair time comes to a close again
Once again the Douglas County Fair ended with the livestock auction Sunday, but not before plenty of local 4-H'ers won plenty of awards and ribbons.
Baldwin City 4-H'ers competed in many contests during the annual fair's near two-week run. Those entries included food, sheep, swine, cattle and much more.
However, when it comes right down to it, many of the 4-H'ers enjoy other parts of the fair or just being with their peers.
"My favorite part was probably the derby or just getting to hang out," said MacKenzie Flory, Baldwin High School junior. "I enjoyed the derby because I knew lots of people that were running in it. Just getting to be with all your friends during the day was fun, too."
Kaleb Horne, 2007 BHS graduate, also enjoys his time with peers at the fair, especially with the friends that he only visits with once or twice a year.
"The fair is a good time to see everyone again," Horne said. "I really enjoy being around all of the people that I only see a couple of times a year. The fair is a great time to catch up with them."
Despite all of the fun and enjoyment that the 4-H'ers had at the demolition derby and other events, they also had lots of work to do.
Most of that work revolves around the livestock animals that will be shown during the week.
"I am always walking by the stalls cleaning things up and making sure they are doing OK," Horne said. "We get up each morning and spend about an hour cleaning the animals. Then we check on them during the day."
Each 4-H'er has different animals that they bring to the fair. Some bring dairy or beef cattle, while others bring sheep or swine.
BHS freshman Ramie Burkhart shows swine and goats at the fair. She said the swine are much more work for her each day.
"I stay very busy," Burkhart said. "You have to keep checking all of your animals to make sure they have enough water, because it gets so hot during the day. I have goats and pigs but I would say that the pigs require a lot more work because you can't just set a bucket of water in there because the pigs will fight and spill the water."
Although the animals require a lot of work for each 4-H'er, they do find time to enjoy the annual county fair and all that it has to offer.
"I thought that it was really fun like usual, but I think there were less people this year," Burkhart said.
Flory also felt that less people attended the fair this summer, but she found a friend to hang out with.
"This year I thought that the fair drew less attention and there weren't as many people as in the past years," Flory said. "It was hot, really hot. I hung out with Kelly Baker (BHS junior) a lot, so we still managed to have fun and stay out of trouble."
After the contests are over, many of the 4-H'ers sell their animals at the livestock auction. The auction took place Sunday and everyone involved has mixed feelings about it.
"I sell my pigs," Burkhart said. "It's kind of sad because you get attached to them, but you get used to it after doing it for so many years."
Flory said she enjoys the money that her animals are sold for, because they do require a lot of hard work during the year. She is also thankful for everyone who attends the auction and helps the 4-H'ers.
"It's good to finally sell them to help pay off for all the hard work that you have put forth the past year working with them," Flory said. "It's nice that there is lots of support through out the county from people that help contribute to everyone's animals they have put in the auction."
Horne has sold a steer at the auction for the past nine years. He said the auction was hard on him as a child, but he has learned from it, as he has gotten older.
"It's very beneficial," Horne said. "For the first couple of years, it was tough. It's not like it gets any easier, but it definitely does teach you life lessons."