HEMLOCK – There were chickens and pigs and animals of all shapes and sizes, as 4-H youth began showing off their animals at the Hemlock “Little World’s” Fair.
“The 4H program is very important because it gives kids ages 5-19 the opportunity to learn life skills through projects of area interests,” Youth Development Team Leader Mark Wittmeyer said Tuesday, the opening day of the fair in Livingston County.
The Hemlock Fair is the first of four county fairs in the GLOW region scheduled for this summer.
The Genesee County Fair covers two weekends during its July 24 to 31 run, and the Orleans County Fair is July 26 to 31. The Wyoming County Fair returns Aug. 14 to 21 in Pike.
In Hemlock, about 30 kids had brought with them 50 to 60 animals that they have been raising for months. On Saturday, their hard work will pay off when the animals will be sold at auction.
“Lots of life skills, feeding, caring for and making sure the animal is healthy. They also do record keeping to keep up with their profit and loss. It is kind of like a business so there are a lot of skills that they are responsible for,” said Wittmeyer.
One of those kids was 12 year-old Avon resident Jack Devito, who brought six pigs to the fair.
“I like showing my animals and selling them. It is just fun to work with them,” said Jack.
It was fun also for his older brother Reese who was there to give him a hand with the hogs.
“We buy the hog when they are about a month old and we keep them until the fair when we sell them at auction. You get to make your own nutritional plan for the animals and then develop how you want the hog to look,” said Reese.
Cameron Wood, an 11 year old from Nunda, and his brother brought eight chicken to the fair. It is an event that he said he enjoys coming to every year.
“I like seeing everyone that I have not really seen in a while and showing all of the animals,” said Wood.
They are chickens that his family knows well because he has had them since they were just two days old. He said it sometimes can be a lot of work to help care for them.
“You gotta clean them out sometimes because they get really dirty, really fast and then you have to feed them water all of the time because they dump their water,” said Wood.
Kenneth Smith, 15, of Hemlock was also busy cleaning and helping to care for his animals. However, instead of chickens his animals are cows.
“It is enjoyable and it is good for younger kids to get into, to learn about farming and what it is all about,” Kenneth said. “It just lets your mind grow. It takes work but it is all well worth it in the end.”