LIMA — Chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys make their return to the barns and show rings at the Allen County Junior Fair, following last year’s statewide ban on all live poultry shows due to an outbreak of avian flu.
“If you had a feather, you weren’t allowed to come on to the fairgrounds,” said Kelly Coble, 4-H coordinator for The Ohio State University Extension’s Allen County Office.
Other Junior Fair livestock competitions include horses, dairy, beef and hogs. They’re held at various times throughout each day of the fair. Coble said the best time to see young Junior Fair participants in action is in the barns early in the morning, before the competitions start.
“You’ll see kids getting their animals ready,” she said, “washing them and grooming them and doing last-minute touches.”
Each livestock division has a market competition and a showmanship competition. Judges in market competitions look at “how much meat is on that animal,” said Coble. In showmanship competitions, judges grade youngsters on how they present their animal, on “knowing what side of the animal you need to stand on, making sure that you’ve worked with your animal enough that their legs are square or however you need to set that animal up,” she said.
“It helps you learn responsibility,” said Coble of Junior Fair. “It helps you when it comes to presenting yourself to people.”
Reach Amy Eddings at 567-242-0379 or on Twitter, @lima_eddings.