From Across the Field – Fair Season in Full Force

In the past week I have had multiple conversation with colleagues, clientele, and stakeholders regarding the recent developments regard water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Even though the vast majority of Henry county was not included in the eight named watersheds, my message at this point is no different than it was prior to the Governor’s announcement last week. OSU Extension, myself included, will continue our role in translating science-based information into practical strategies for addressing the water quality issues facing the state. Stay tuned for more information and education regarding water quality in the watershed as we go forward and continue to learn.

Having addressed the water issue, let’s talk about something a bit more fun, the fair. With the Ohio State Fair approaching fast and folks attending various county fairs, I want to remind everyone about some basic fair safety. For many fairgoers it may be the only time of the year that they are exposed to livestock or animals at all. Fairgoers should utilize caution when approaching larger species such as cattle or horses, especially from behind as they may be prone to kick. Horses tend to kick in more of a straight back fashion while cattle usually have to swing their legs out to the side. When approaching all animals only reach out and pet them if the owner or exhibitor is present and they give you permission. All animals have the potential to bite or peck at fingers. After touching the animals be sure to take the time to wash your hands and the hands of children. While fair food is a highlight for many fair attendees, eating and drinking should occur in other place on the fairgrounds rather than in the livestock barns.

As I had mentioned above the Ohio State Fair begins next Wednesday, and similar to last year a group of  4-Her’s will be representing the county on the Henry County Livestock Judging Team. This year’s group features two returning youth to the senior division in Camren Fedderke and Sarah Millikan. New to the senior team in 2018 are Joshua Brueshaber and Collin Fedderke. This year we have two youth, Adrianna Meyer and Hannah Millikan participating in the junior division as well. The contest is next Friday consists of evaluating eight classes of livestock and giving four sets of oral reasons. Coaching youth in this program is my foray into the 4-H world. However, I have had help along the way from Bailey Elchinger, Lynnsey Maassel, and all of the producers who have allowed the team to practice with their livestock over the summer. If you see any of those young folks in the next week be sure to wish them luck, as they have put time and effort into honing their craft this summer.

I’ll end this week with a quote from Yogi Berra: “If you find a fork in the road, take it.” Have a great week.

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