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There are four days left for The Big Fresno Fair, which means you still have a chance to visit Chuck and Norris. No, they’re not Texas Rangers—they’re goats.
Raised and cared for by Blossom Trail 4-H member Micah Carpenter, they lack badges but carry a mean kick. Additionally, Norris has the distinction of a first place ribbon in market.
These goats are just two of many livestock hanging out in the barns at the fair.
Why you should you make time for farm animals
Fresno is smack dab in the center of a vast and impressive agriculture region. I know—it’s easy to forget that when you’re getting coffee and running to Target. Sometimes during visits to the fair, it’s nice to walk away from corndogs and chocolate-dipped bugs and check out the driving force of our region (and also see some hilariously named goats). It’s a way of getting back to the Central Valley’s roots.
Junior livestock exhibitors learn life skills
Though animal showmanship is a big part of it, 4-H and The National FFA Organization aren’t just about barnyard creatures. Currently, there are many other aspects and activities of the club that are available to members, including citizenship and healthy living. You don’t even have to live on a farm to participate in these groups! In fact, Micah doesn’t personally live in the country (although his goats do).
If you are, however, interested in seeing how these students manage their animals, just take a visit The Big Fresno Fair. There you’ll see kids showing and selling their livestock and wearing the iconic white and green uniform of 4-H members, or the blue and gold of FFA.
Micah is already seeing how his work during the year is paying off. He explains, “Showing goats is fun because it gives me the opportunity to show the work I’ve put into Chuck and Norris. I learned that hard work at the farm, and listening to my leader, Clara, is extremely important.”
He also has tips for other kids wanting to participate in animal showmanship. “Remember to look at the judge, pay attention, and have fun!”
Livestock auction pays for college and Hurricane Harvey victims
After all their hard work of waking up early to feed their livestock, and grooming and training them for show, the kids will auction their animals.
This Saturday at 8:30 a.m. is the last livestock auction of the fair. The proceeds from the livestock sales often go toward college funds or to help pay for the students’ next projects. This year, top-off bids on livestock will not only go to the students, they’ll also go to students who’ve been affected by Hurricane Harvey and the wildfires that are currently smoking up our state.
So as the fair wraps up, try to find time to visit the livestock and stock up on respect for the animals and people that play such a big role in our local economy. Who knows? You might just see someone walking around with a champion bonnet on their head.
If you have a child or teen interested in joining a club that helps develop leadership skills and might involve a goat or bunny, check out 4-H. You can find out more by contacting the University of California Corporate Extension here. High school students can join FFA through schools that offer vocational agriculture classes.
For information on the junior livestock auction at The Big Fresno Fair, check out the website here or contact the Livestock Department directly at (559) 650-3292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.