My first day at the fair was off to an interesting start. I left my banner for my stall at home so I had to drive home to get it.
The reason I had to get a banner for my stall is so that I would be eligible for the Herdsman award. This award is given to the 4-Her whose stall is the cleanest for the duration of the fair. As is written on the Baltimore County 4-H fair website: “Each category is worth 10 points each. Exhibitors’ areas will be judged approximately 3 times per day unannounced, at any time of the day, by unbiased individuals as well as the Dept. Superintendents. The scores from each day will be totaled at the end of the fair and the winner will be announced. Exhibitor’s name must be clearly identified to be judged.
1. Cleanliness and care of Animal
2. Cleanliness of Bedding
3. Cleanliness of Feed/Tack Area & Central Aisle
4. Attractiveness of Exhibitor’s assigned area
5. Breed Promotion / Educational Display
6. Assigned area and Display identified with exhibitor’s name”
Once I got back to the fairgrounds and set up my stall I went over to the indoor exhibits to see how I did. All of my Arts and Hobbies entries came in first through third place, which is great, but my livestock educational poster didn’t do well at all. Since I have one more year in 4-H I want to try and get either Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion in an indoor exhibit next year. While I was with my indoor exhibits I also turned in my bucket of junk. Bucket of junk is a contest to see who can make the most interesting thing with a bucket of random objects. I made a ski slope using all the objects and personally I think I’ll get first place because mine looked super cool in comparison to all the rest of the entries.
After I finished looking at the indoor exhibits, I helped other 4-Hers get their pigs down to the washing pens. In order to make sure the pigs don’t escape you use pig boards to herd the pigs in the right direction. Since I had never worked with pigs before this was a real learning experience. If there is even a slight gap in the boards then a pig will stick its nose through and escape. You also have to hold the board firmly so that the pig doesn’t try to push you over. Once I got the hang of it it was pretty easy to work with the pigs. This is actually one of the reasons I want to have a market swine project next year; a pig will push me to be a better showman because its a large animal and I want a new challenge.
Once all the pigs were washed and put back in their pens I helped Jen wash her cows. I worked with Lucy, her older Charolais heifer since she is more willing to work with people. I just used a scrub brush with dawn soap to clean her off. I paid special attention to the neck because Charolais are white so when they sweat their necks have an orangish tine. In fitting and showing it is as much about how well you show the animal as it is about how clean your animal is. I also scrubbed the hooves to get some dirt out. While Jen was drying off her heifers I grabbed some lunch because thats not really a two person job.
After I ate lunch I washed and blow dried the goats so they would be ready for showmanship tomorrow morning. I started off by washing Eve, who wasn’t happy to get wet, Even though Eve was making a lot of noise and trying to run away from the water she wasn’t nearly as bad as Scarlett, who would run under the wash racks so much that her halter got messed up. Scarlet still wasn’t letting me touch her legs so it was difficult to wash her and blow her out. Washing and drying Ellsa was a breeze, especially since she’s to small to run away from me. After everyone was washed and dried and back in their pens I went home to study my goat anatomy for showmanship.