MOUNT GILEAD — Carly Wallace made sure Max and Oliver got used to their new surroundings as the 169th Morrow County Fair began Monday morning.
The 14-year-old was helping her brother Kasen of Grass Roots & Boots 4-H Club with his goat project.
“I did rabbits before for two years,” Carly said. “Rabbits are easier to take care of.”
Trailers and pick-ups unloaded animals into the barns as parents took time from work to help their children prepare for the fair. Many wore sweatshirts as the cooler temperatures arrived and a light rain fell.
Wyatt Young, 11, changed from showing pigs to goats this year.
“I wanted to see what it was like. Goats are harder; the walking part,” he said.
Young is a member of the Next Generations 4-H Club. His mother, Marcia, says her son has learned a lot doing projects.
“It teaches them a lot of responsibility and respect.”
Wyatt estimates he spends 35 minutes several times a day walking his two market goats.
Some clubs do still projects like the Jack in the Beanstalk display that members of 4-H-I-O were putting together.
Martha Wall, Calina Barry and Sally Brokaw lead the 30-member club composed mainly of home-schooled children.
Hailey Looker had help from her family, including her mom, Bobi, as she moved her market hog and breeding gilt into the pens.
“Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s not,” said Hailey, in her first year showing animals for the Dixie Stampede 4-H Club.
“Bedding all the animals, getting up early even during the summer at 7 a.m. and then feed and walk them and scrape the pen several times a day,” Bobi said.
“It teaches them how to care for things and the value in things.”
Her younger brothers, Jace and RJ, help her.
Getting the hogs into the pens required the entire family.
“They’re little tricksters,” Bobi noted. “You have to work with them for months and getting them to trust you.”
A long line formed outside the barn where small animals like chickens and rabbits are weighed.
Inside Alana Parsons was finishing her work preparing the cages.
“My mom did 4-H as a kid so I wanted to do it,” said Parsons, who is a junior at Highland High School.
Parsons has two market and two breeding rabbits.
“It sounded easy, but it’s hard getting ready for showmanship to have them ready to impress the judge,” she said. “They’re fun animals. I like to play with them.”
Judging is held throughout the week for youngsters and their animals. The fair ends Monday, Sept. 2.