St. Joseph County 4-H Fair begins Friday
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The 94th annual St. Joseph County 4H Fair begins on Friday.
Fair organizers expect close to 200,000 people to visit the fair over the next nine days.
St. Joseph County 4-H Fair President Jim Caldwell says his 27 member board works year round to make the week run smoothly.
Caldwell says this year families can find a wide range of vendors, games, rides, food, and entertainment at this year’s fair.
“There’s so much to do, there’s so much to see,” said Caldwell. “You can come early and stay late there is that much to do out here. It’s just great fun in a relaxed atmosphere.”
The fair runs through July 6. Gates open at 7 a.m. each morning.
“It’s great family fun, entertainment, it’s a great way to pause from the things that are going on in your life and come out and have a good time,” said Caldwell.
Caldwell explains a big part of the fair is the kids and the animals they’ve raised over the last few months.
“This is a celebration, you know, of their months and months and months of work,” said Caldwell.
Fair goers can see cows, sheep, rabbits, pigs, geese, and other animals at this year’s fair.
Jared Flora is a soon to be ninth grade and 4-H competitor. He joined the organization five years ago.
Flora raises meat and show rabbits. He also participates in other projects like shooting sports and sewing. Flora believes 4-H taught him how to network and be accountable.
“Responsibility is a big thing that I’ve learned in 4-H,” said Flora. “I’m responsible for making sure my projects get done in a timely manner. I’m responsible for not only myself, but my animals. I’m responsible when we do ranges, I’m responsible for everyone’s safety there. Everyone’s responsible for everyone in 4-H. We help keep each other in line.”
The impacts of President Trump’s ongoing trade dispute with China and rainy weather that is making it difficult to plant crops is impacting not only farmers across the United States and Michiana, but 4-H competitors as well.
Caldwell exemplifies the record amount of rain preventing people from cutting hay. He explains farmers are usually preparing for the second hay cutting at the end of June, but the rain prevented farmers from cutting the first batch of hay.
According to Caldwell, it’s a learning opportunity for the children involved in 4-H.
“Affects the hay prices,” said Caldwell. “Our corn farmers, they weren’t able, a lot of them weren’t able to plant all their acreage. That affects them. That affects grain that is used for feed so this is a good learning lesson for the kids. It’s heartache for our farmers, but it’s a good learning tool for the kids that they understand, and anyone that goes through the 4-H barns and exhibit hall, that they can learn about. It takes a lot to get something to the plate.”
For information on ticket prices, fair hours, and events this week at the fair, click here.