Fair time is always a special occasion in Kern County.It marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Also, for many of us, it is a time to gather and run into old friends while enjoying the many exhibits, activities, shows, animals, rides and, of course, the amazing food!
This year’s fair has some new attractions like the Bug O logy exhibit. Will Warden with Bug Ology said their mission is to educate the community about the importance of insects in our world. “We bring the creepy crawlies to educate the public about the importance of conserving insects!”
However, it didn’t stop there. Bug Ology even had crickets of many flavors to eat! Blodgie Rodriguez, Chairwoman of the Kern County Fair Board of Directors, had multiple tastings of crickets and bugs. “It was good; I am glad I did it,” stated Rodriguez. She added she enjoyed the salty bugs more than the lemon meringue cricket.
To many, the tradition of showing animals is the true joy of the fair. The Hall family has two children showing animals this year. Hunter and Gretchen are eight and ten, respectively. They each are showing two pygmy goats, and this is the first year Gretchen is showing a steer. Terry Hall, Hunter’s and Gretchen’s father, showed steers for 11 years himself as a youth and said, “security measures have risen since I was a kid.”
He and his wife Denise agreed that raising and showing animals is a positive experience for their kids. “It teaches responsibility and hardwork,” commented Denise. Gretchen added, “Iam nervous about saying goodbye to my steer.” But she likes the fact that buyer number 9 donates the meat to shelters and good causes.
Amelia Camou was fresh off receiving an award when she shared with Valley Ag Voice the good news. “I won first place in the Pre Jr. Pygmy Goat category.” Amelia added, “I was surprised and happy when I won. Especially, with all of the close competition.” She proudly showed off her winning buckle.
When asked why he showed Pygmy Goats Wyatt Bender proudly commented, “They are easy to handle and calm. My goat Grace is going to have babies in January.”
Exotic animals were on display as Alpacas were being shown. Krissy Barton a Freedom Middle School student showed her 3-year-old Alpaca named Kit Kat. “I used to show bunnies but wanted to try something different. Alpacas are easy to raise and maintain,” stated Krissy. “The switch was harder at first but got easier over time. Alpacas are more cleanup than bunnies, but at least it is all in one spot,” addedBarton.
Stay tuned to the November edition of the Valley Ag Voice as we will cover additional Kern County Fair Livestock activities since they occur after our print deadline!