By Kristin Rover
Wake up early, feed and clean the animals, practice showing, clean up after the animals, go to sleep, repeat.
This is a typical summer for many junior fair participants while many other children their age are likely sleeping in and hanging out by the pool.
But when fair week arrives, many of the 4-H and FFA participants say that all the hard work pays off.
Lexi Eyre with the Pride Producers 4-H Club, showed hogs at the fair and says she works with her animals every day.
“We clean them, check their weight, we practice with them almost every day,” Eyre said.
Eyre said walking into the show arena is her favorite part after all of the hard work.
Morgan Smith, with Felicity FFA, showed cattle at the fair this year and said she has been preparing for the week all summer.
“We work with them all summer long, twice a day,” Smith said about her animals.
Smith said winning a class is her favorite part after all of the hard work.
Carson Fishback, with the Buzzing Enthusiasts 4-H Club, shows hogs and cattle.
She said a typical routine getting ready to show includes working with the cattle and hogs, cleaning the hogs, shaving both the cattle and hogs, and applying lots of hairspray to the cattle’s hair.
Fishback said she enjoys working with all of the animals preparing for fair.
“I like getting to know the animals,” Fishback said.
And it’s not just the 4-H and FFA participants who spend a lot of time preparing for the fair, often times their parents are their biggest helpers.
Laura Prescott’s sons, Aaron and Zach, participate in the Rump Roast Riders 4-H Club and showed 19 animals at this year’s fair including horses, goats cattle, and chickens.
“It’s extremely hard work,” Prescott said. “Every day you get up early. It’s a good two hour process, all summer.”
Prescott said her sons clean the animals, work with them, take care of them. In addition, she said the boys attend meetings and practices each week.
Prescott said she can tell that the commitment to 4-H has had a positive impact on her sons.
“It’s an investment,” she said. “They learn so much from it.”
Prescott said fair week is the ultimate reward for all of the hard work.
“It’s what makes the summer,” Prescott said. “You get to fair week and it’s all worth it.”
According to Kelly Royalty, 4-H Youth Development Educator, 850 youth are enrolled in 4-H clubs throughout Clermont County.
In addition to livestock shows, many 4-H participants completed general assignment projects that included fashion design, cooking, and more.
For more information about 4-H in Clermont County, visit www.clermont.osu.edu.
Several local high schools have FFA chapters, including Felicity-Franklin and Clermont Northeastern high schools.
For more information about FFA or to locate a chapter, visit www.ffa.org.