By Laurel Magar
This year my sister and I both decided to raise pigs for the Great Kern County Fair. We got the pigs from Billy Barnes in May and fed, walked, washed and played with them every day until September 19th when we took them to the fair grounds.
Once the pigs arrived, we all knew that we would be at the fairgrounds A LOT for the next week. We each had a variety of different shows going on. For example, I had Pork and Plaid on Friday, Market Show on Saturday, Showmanship on Monday, Kern Bred & Fed on Tuesday, and the auction was on Thursday. Each one of these events took a special skill set. Pork and Plaid was a show for exhibitors who had sewn an outfit for themselves and a matching one for their pig. Market Show judges the specific features of each animal, like bone structure and muscle tone. Showmanship is a show where the exhibitor is judged on how well they show their pig. Some ways to get noticed during Showmanship would be to make eye contact with the judge and to control where your pig walks to. Kern Bred & Fed is a show just for pigs born and raised in Kern County. On Thursday we sold our pigs at the auction. This part can be very hard for many exhibitors, but over the years I have gotten used to it.
Overall fair time is one of the most chaotic times for me and my family. But the hard work and the time we put into raising our pigs pays off. I enjoy it very much, but I also look forward to getting back to our normal life after the fair.
Laurel Magar is a 13 year old Independent exhibitor that attends Downtown School.
My 2019 Kern County Fair Experience
By Lindsay Magar
This year was my 6th year showing swine at the Fair, and my first showing with Garces Memorial FFA. There are so many qualities of leadership, independence, and responsibility my projects have taught me over the years, and that is what I love it so much and what drives me to keep showing each year.
Over the years I have learned how to walk in to major corporations in the industry and present myself and my projects as my own business.
Sponsorships are a crucial aspect of your Swine project when it comes to market sale at the end of fair week. It’s a unique approach to walk into a potential sponsor’s oﬃce and inform them on what you’re doing with your fair project, rather than just giving out sponsorship forms and hoping for the best. Which many sponsors admire.
This year nearly all the responsibility of my project was placed on me. Since I started driving this year, it was my responsibility to wake up early to feed my pigs every morning and after school. Yet,I never complained about the numerous hours of work because I enjoy every moment of this agricultural experience and wanted to branch out even further. So, this year I took on helping another member of my chapter with his first set of show pigs. Every Sunday I went out to his property before sunrise to guide him with his first projects to help make sure he was ready for the fair.
With increased responsibility I became more independent. I started to tell my parents not to worry about what they thought they needed to do to help me and that I could take care of it on my own. Which included buying supplies, feeding twice every day, being at the fair when the animals needed me, and making sure my pig was declared for special shows and auction. All that responsibility I took oﬀ my parent shoulders because I wanted to be more independent with my project.
I’m so glad I chose to take on 2019 myself and help others. It really gave me much more insight in the industry I love, and I wouldn’t trade my experiences and numerous hours of hard work for anything in the world.