Monday, July 23, 2007

Clermont County Fair, part 1

The Clermont County fair opened on Sunday, and I took advantage of the beautiful afternoon to walk around the fairgrounds, visit the animal barns, and take in a little harness racing. The Clermont County fair is one of the oldest fairs in the state, and was first held in 1846. It has been held in Owensville (previously called Boston) since the Civil War.
Dairy goats made for an interesting exhibit. According to the informational posters, there are 6 breeds of dairy goats, and I found examples of four of them:

Saanens are a common dairy breed. Saanens, which are all white, are popular for their large udder capacity and the quantity of milk they produce.

Alpines can be any color except solid white. They have upright ears, which helps separate them from Nubians.
Nubians, with their long, floppy ears, are distinctive. They can be any color or pattern, and have a convex nose. They are one of the larger breeds of goats, and can be stubborn. Their milk is prized for its high protein and butter fat content.

A Nubian goat, with a Saanen in the next pen for comparison.

I like Toggenburgs for their pretty faces. They are always light brown in color, with white accents, including these stripes.

Pygmy goats, while not a dairy breed, were also on display.

Of course there are sheep in this barn, too.
Sheep get a haircut just before showing, to help the judges appreciate their shape and condition.

After their trim, they wear sheep "pajamas" to keep themselves clean and neat.
The pigs are always fun to see. This face belongs to your typical "pink" piggy, really white with its light pink skin showing through. I'm not sure of the breed, Yorkshire, I think.

The red Duroc is a handsome pig. The drooping ears are a breed characteristic.

Most of the pigs I saw were flat out on their sides, snoozing, like these Hampshires.

For cattle, we had beef breeds, dairy cows like these Jerseys (or Guernseys, I always get them confused)

and for a "wow" factor, Watusi. Look at those horns!

The junior fair exhibitors, mostly 4-H'ers, were busy prepping their animals for the week's upcoming shows. The wash stand line was waiting-room only.

These farm kids work hard all season, raising and training their animals, then camping out in an empty stall in all weather during fair week, caring for their charges. The lessons they learn, and the money they earn when their exhibit is sold, are invaluable. When you go to the fair, if you only visit the midway you have missed the best parts. County fairs were established to show off the farmer's work - his cattle, his vegetables, and the equipment he used to bring food to our tables, like
these old tractors.
So, take in a county fair near you. Wander around the animal barns or watch some cattle or sheep being shown. You will come away with a new appreciation for farming.


Mary said...

This reminds me of the Delaware State Fair I enjoyed three years ago. I spent hours with the pigs, goats, and cows. Loved every minute. The hampshires remind me of Bella...(my meaty BT)

KGMom said...

County fairs are so much fun. Of course, here in PA we have PA Farm Show Week, every year in January.
Since we usually have snow or ice (surprise, surprise in January), that has given rise to the fabled Farm Show weather.

Mary C said...

Thanks for the tour, Kat Doc. I had forgotten what a pleasure it can be to take in all the animal, plant, and handicraft exhibits. Years ago, Santa Clara County used to be an agricultural area in the San Francisco Bay area, but those days are long gone. I think walking through the animal exhibits were always the best - as you said we can appreciate all the hard work the young people put into their exhibits.

Susan Gets Native said...

Big udders are good.

Holly said...

Delaware State Fair rocks! We're going tonight. Ethan has already been twice this week, lol. There's a midway but it's still primarily agricultural. The kids will hit the midway (again) tonight but I'll be in the 4H hall, the horse stables, and looking at the produce and table setting/flower arranging/needlework exhibits. You're right, there's nothing like a *real* fair!

MariahAnn said...

thank you for posting this! The duroc you took the picture of is my pig. Her name was Winnie. I could tell it was her in your picture because of her ear notches. Thanks again for posting that pic!

Maple Rey Milk & More 4Her,

Dawn Carpenter said...

Winnie was a sexy beast!!

MariahAnn said...

Hahaa i don't think you are dawn carpenter becuz i can't imagine that coming out of dawn's mouth lol