Many local 4-H members are preparing for the annual Wyandotte County Fair this year, which will run from July 21 to July 25 at the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds, 137th and Polfer Road, Kansas City, Kan.
“We are expecting to have good participation,” said Olivia Moore, Wyandotte County 4-H youth agent. “Our numbers are projected to be up from last year, and we’re looking forward to having a fun-filled fair.”
4-H is focused on positive youth development, Moore said. It integrates knowledge and skills, communication, and builds life skills, she said. It helps develop youth potential, she added.
For example, a youth entering an animal at the fair increases his or her knowledge about the project, and answers questions from a judge while showing the animal in the ring.
Moore said the 4-H youth here are very active in shooting sports, goat and sheep projects, rabbits and poultry, and construction and sewing projects, among others. The list of projects is extensive and may include exhibits such as arts and crafts, rocketry, foods, photography, performing arts and woodworking.
“In shooting sports, several members here are doing big things on the state and national level, with some Olympians in their midst,” Moore said.
The number of youth participating in goat and sheep projects is growing rapidly, she said.
Goats and sheep are relatively quiet, compared to other farm animals, and are easier to raise in a large backyard or city setting, as compared to pigs and cows, she said. Youth also choose to raise rabbits and chickens for the same reasons, she added.
Something different about the 4-H entries at the fair this year will be the absence of a poultry show, according to Moore. The 4-H poultry show at the fair this year has been canceled by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, which has stopped all poultry travel because of the avian flu outbreak. Other poultry shows throughout the state also were canceled to prevent the potential risk of transmitting the disease.
What that means for the 4-H members who raised poultry this year is that they will not be able to sell any of their chickens at the annual auction at the fair.
Amy Crouse, with the Wyandotte County Fair organizing committee, said it was her understanding that those youths who raised poultry this year may bring a photo of their animal to display at the fair.
The annual livestock auction and shows will continue for other animals raised by 4-H’ers. The auction will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 24, at the arena at the fairgrounds. A bucket calf parade at 7:15 p.m. will precede the auction.
Wyandotte County Extension Director Bruce Chladny is hoping for good weather on the week of the fair, as the weather affects attendance and participation.
The fair will open next Tuesday, and the long-range forecast for Tuesday currently is mostly sunny with a high of 87, about what one would expect in July.
There are some separate events scheduled in connection with the fair this year, such as the 4-H Style Revue in advance of the fair at the Bonner Springs United Methodist Church.
The annual Wyandotte County Fair also includes live entertainment, vendors, carnival, community contests, and open class exhibits. Hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 through Friday, July 24, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 25.
“We look forward to seeing all of Wyandotte County at our fair,” Moore said. “There are various shows throughout the week, and we encourage everyone to come and learn about 4-H.”
For more information about the fair, visit www.wycofair.com.
See other Wyandotte County Fair stories at http://wyandottedaily.com/wyandotte-county-fair-next-week-features-two-free-concerts/ and http://wyandottedaily.com/2015-wyandotte-county-fair-schedule/.