TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Vigo County fair offers more for local kids than just a variety of rides and games. It’s an opportunity for kids in one organization to showcase months of hard work raising animals.
Last year, the pandemic shortened multiple 4-H events into just one day of showing animals. Now, Vigo County 4-H is back to full operations.
Inside multiple barns and pins at the Vigo County Fairgrounds are some of the area’s most prized farm animals.
Member, Colton Steveson thinks 4-H gives people a unique fair experience.
“It just brings more attraction. People come to ride rides, people get tired of that and they want to walk around and see animals they don’t see everyday.” Steveson said.
Animals are judged on a variety attributes, whether it be showmanship or physical appearance.
“Sometimes judges may look at what the future generation of cattle may look like. Depending on the cow and judges, there are a lot of factors.” He adds.
After last year’s limited 4-H events, Olivia Branam says this year’s return is much anticipated.
“For a lot of kids, they work all year and this is their one opportunity to show what they can do,” Branam said.
Days at the fair range from hours of feeding, cleaning, and competing.
“On show days I get here around 7 a.m. I get the animals fed, groomed, and ready. Afterwards, I have to get myself ready to make the walk to the ring. We sometimes leave late at night,” Branam said.
Public Relations Officer with Vigo Co. 4H, Jaylee Scott, says the organization helps give members a leg up when it comes to personal development.
“4-H just gives the chance for everyone to be a leader, to build friendships. We’re just a big family here, we’re here to have fun. We compete, but we are all friends and family,” Scott said.
Aside from interpersonal development, Scott said it gives the community a chance to see more of what the organization does.
“It takes a lot of work to make this happen. 4-H means a lot to us.” She added.
For Branam and Steveson, this fair marks the end of their 10 year journey with Vigo County 4-H. It’s a journey, Branam says she’ll never forget.
“It feels like I’m finishing a chapter, more like a book started 10 years ago. It’s awesome to be here.” Branam said.
For fellow 10 year member, Steveson, he adds that it took a longer time to realize he won’t be returning for next year’s fair as a member of 4-H.
“It’s bittersweet, I didn’t think I was gonna be sad at all, but the further I got into the show it started to hit me I was done,” Steveson said.
Pictured below is reporter Zeke Torres with one of the many many animals at the fair. Many animals barns are creating innovative fundraisers to raise money for expenses like barn repairs. This Alpaca and Llama Kissing Booth will be available until Saturday around 2 p.m.