Fair is a way to give back

This year, 4-H’ers are competing with more than just their projects and livestock.

They are also being asked to bring in school supplies and non perishable food to help their community.

The fair is the largest community event and 4-H’ers are learning to give back through the event, said Angela Morris, fair board member.

“With this being the largest community event each year, we thought we could get the kids to give back,” she said.

Their competition is set up as a battle of the barns.

Each 4-H’er who shows livestock donates to help the total of their livestock barn. And 4-H’ers who do not show animals are asked to pick their favorite animal and to donate to that barn, Morris said.

This is the first year for the collection and organizers are hoping for 100 percent participation from 4-H’ers.

Fairgoers can get in the donation spirit, too.

Large collection barrels are at the entrance to the fairgrounds where fairgoers are encouraged to donate.

Food items will go to Interchurch Food Pantry. School supplies will go to United Way for the Fast Track program.

Goats are popular at fair

A new goat and sheep barn was built on the fairgrounds last year, and already the space is a little snug.

About 100 4-H’ers will show 300 goats at the fair this year. Add in other animals that are also housed in that building, and the new barn is already tight, said Steve Shireman, superintendent of goats.

“As far as I know, it has never been that high,” Shireman said.

The number of 4-H’ers interested in showing goats has been increasing in the last few years, said Hannah Goeb, a 4-H leader for goats.

Goats are a good starter animal for 4-H families who want to begin showing livestock, she said. The animals aren’t as much work as showing swine or cattle, and the hobby can be cheaper for families just getting started, she said. The price range is $100 to $1,500 to show goats at the fair, and 4-H’ers have lots of options for the livestock, she said.

“It depends on how much the kids want to dive in,” Goeb said.

For the past few years, 10 to 12 new 4-H’ers are choosing to show the animal each year, they said.

“Swine barn used to be ‘the’ barn, now it is the goat barn,” Shireman said.

Watch celebrities milk a goat

Television news teams from Indianapolis will compete in a celebrity milking contest.

Four anchors and other staff members will compete in the fair’s first annual celebrity milking contest at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Each milker will get a few minutes with a 4-H’er who has volunteered their goat to get milked.

They then have 10 minutes to milk as much as they can. The celebrity who milks the most will win milk goat products.

Steve Shireman, superintendent of goats, saw the idea at another county fair and wanted to use it for the Johnson County fair, he said.

“This is more for us to promote the goat projects and a way for us to do¬† that,” he said.

If you go

Here is a look at the fair schedule for today:

9 a.m.: 4-H Swine Showmanship, 4-H Dairy Showmanship (Indoor arena)

1 p.m.: 4-H Horse & Pony – Versatility (Horse Arena)

4 p.m.: 4-H Grand Champion Steer Show

5 p.m.: Midway opens

6 p.m.: 4-H Horse & Pony – Contesting Division (Horse Arena)

6:30 – 10 p.m.: Gospel Music in the “A” Tent (North of Scott Hall)

7 p.m.: Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest (Farm Bureau back lot)

7 p.m.: Battle of the Bluegrass Truck and Tractor pull, Admission: $10.00/adults, $5.00/kids 12 & under

7 p.m. Horseshoe Pitching (west of the Fair Office)

7 p.m. Jake and Christine Band (Free stage)

Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at mkritsch@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2770.