It’s getting to be that time of year again, time to enjoy the funnel cakes, rides, and show animals! Getting ready for the fair can be stressful but here are some tips to help. This checklist can help preparing your animal for fair time and feel more confident for the show.
Practice builds confidence in the ring.
Working with animals is always challenging but the more you interact with them, the better you can understand and interact with your animal projects. Especially when working with large animals. You never know exactly how the animal will react when placed with other animals in a new area. Practicing can help you to be as prepared as possible for those situations. Also, this will increase your overall confidence in working with large animals.
Keep your animals healthy and clean.
When we are taking animals to the fair for exhibition or show make sure they are in good health. Many people who are not familiar with the livestock industry come to the fair to see all the “farm animals”. The fair can be one of the only opportunities for some people to see livestock animals. It’s important to keep the animals looking nice so the public can see that they are being well cared for. This also means you should try to keep the pens, food, and water dishes clean.
The proper clothing to wear when showing your animal (show and sale) is a white collared button-down shirt with the 4-H logo on the upper left side, black pants, but dark jeans can be acceptable, black shoes/boots, and a positive attitude.
Label all belongings.
When you are at the fair with your show animal, you may have a show stick, brushes, feed buckets, etc. these items tend to grow legs and walk off if they aren’t marked to be someone’s property. Unfortunate this does happen, and the best thing to do is label everything and put them in a locked box.
Buyers’ letters are sent out prior to the fair to invite business owners, community members, and anyone who would like to support the youth of the community. You should include information about yourself as well as a picture of you with your project animal(s) and you can invite them to the show, buyers’ dinner, and sale.
Night of the sale.
You’ve done everything above and it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! You sell your animal, shake hands with the buyer(s) and see that they get their gift. You still have to take care of your project until all of the market animals are taken to be harvested.
It’s been a month since the fair, and you accomplished the job of raising an animal for multiple months and selling it. Once you get notification of whom your buyer(s) was and who gave add-ons (an amount of money given as an addition to your project by various businesses and individuals) it is time to write thank-you letters.