MOUNT GILEAD — The Morrow County Fair basked in sunshine and a light, airy breeze on Wednesday and Thursday after brief showers and high humidity the day before.
Families enjoyed time together greeting friends they hadn’t seen recently.
“There is no place like the fair to see friends you haven’t seen for a couple years,” said Rhonda Winand.
“It’s great to have a real fair again,” Christina Ruhl said. “It makes things seem almost normal again after the pandemic.”
Ruhl’s daughter Elizabeth is the fair Junior Sheep Princess. The whole Ruhl family was in the sheep barn Thursday with Jason helping at the officials table and Elizabeth handing out awards.
The Sheep Department hosted the annual Lamb Barbecue at noon on Thursday. Dale Davis roasted the lamb and Mike Galleher provided the grilled lamb with a raspberry-jalapeno sauce made by Karen Galleher.
Several families brought side dishes and desserts, but the main, featured attraction is always the lamb and this year all agreed the raspberry-jalapeno sauce was especially delicious.
The sheep breeding show followed the lamb picnic with 20 youth showing sheep.
“It’s really all for the kids and all about the kids,” said Mike Galleher who has been a leader for 4-H youth for many years.
The sheep officials were proud of their judge Nick Fowler who is a graduate of The Ohio State University. Fowler raises Southdown sheep in Kenton, Ohio and has judged sheep and goats in eight states.
In the Beef Show, 29 participated in the feeder calf rate of gain classes on Thursday. 19 participated in Beef Feeder Showmanship and 35 participants were in Beef Showmanship classes.
Garth Ruff of OSU Extension was judge for the Beef Show. Ruff is Beef Cattle Field Specialist in OSU Animal Science. He has 10 years of beef judging experience and raises beef and sheep on his family’s farm.
Eddie Lou Meimer, a grandparent of participants in the Beef Show, was impressed with the beef judges’ work with the youth. She noted how judges took time to ask each youth questions and point out the qualities of their animals.
The Wednesday Beef Show judge was Aaron Arnett who is an OSU graduate with his PhD in Meat Science from the University of Kansas. He is Adjunct Associate Professor at Ohio State.
All the judges took time to speak with the 4-H youth individually as well as complimenting them on their showmanship skills. The horse show, poultry show, rabbit judging, goat showmanship and dog show were also held on Wednesday and Thursday, which made it hard for fair goers to choose which show to attend.
Morrow County Fair Secretary Mary Weiler said early week fair attendance is up this year with 717 on Tuesday and 2,126 coming through the gates Wednesday.