By Portia Williams
LUCASVILLE — The Scioto County Fair would not be complete without the Junior Fair. Area 4-H Clubs participate annually in the livestock activities, offering a positive outlet for the youthful 4-H Club members.
Rachel Ramey of the Green Clovers serves with her husband Andy Ramey as the pig 4-H advisor.
“We brought two pigs. There are 129 total pigs this year. We take market hogs and clean their pens. We have been sharing our animals, a lot of kids come by and want to pet them, and look at them and ask questions,” Ramey said.
She said they welcome the questions and inquiries about the pigs.
“We are here to help them with any questions that they might have as far as the pigs. Right now they are just resting, they are nice and cool. The donation of the fans has been really wonderful for our pigs,” she said.
Making sure the pigs are taken care of is part of their responsibility.
“We make sure that we have water and we feed them. You are not allowed to keep the water and feed inside, you have to water them about every two hours or so,” she said.
She said participation in the livestock activities is beneficial to children.
“I think that this is great for kids. It is not all about winning here, It helps to build character,” she said. “They get to learn responsibility by taking care of the animals. We walk them every day, and feed and wash them, and develop a relationship with them.
Helping 4-H Club participants understand the marketing component is imperative, according to Ramey.
“We train our children even in our 4-H Clubs that these animals are market, we eat them. We make sure that everything that we put into them is healthy, and not illegal. There are no drugs in them that shouldn’t be,” she said. “We always eat our meat, after this is done we will buy our meat back because we know what we feed them, and it will usually last us one year.”
Mark Risner, owner of Marissa Meadows Dairy Farm, and advisor for the Minford Dairy 4-H Club, brought a fleet of 21 cows for the livestock segment of the Scioto County Fair.
“The 4-H Clubs come and lease a calf off of us and take care of it for the summer. and they show our cows here at the fair,” Risner said.
He said participating in the livestock activities helps children learn responsibility.
“This is good for responsibility, and gives kids an opportunity that can’t have an animal at their house to participate. They come out and they work together, work with their animal, plus they have to help all of the other club members take care of their animals including washing, feeding, and so forth. Then, when they come to the fair, they are responsible for taking care of all of the cows, so they take turns and help each other,” Risner said.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-370-0712 or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.