BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The Boone County Fair, the largest county fair in the state of Illinois, isn’t just all fun and games — there’s an agricultural education component for future farmers as well.
For the Haerterich’s, Adysion, Jayden, and Ashlyn, it’s a family affair.
The family has been taking part in the fair’s 4-H poultry show for the last five years.
“It was really fun at first. I was like, ‘I’m not sure if I will like this.’ As soon as it went on, I started doing it and it was really fun,” Adyson said. “I love being here because I get to see and meet new people and I am seeing many different new breeds that I’ve never seen before.”
4-H is a network of youth organizations administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Livestock exhibitor Scott Fowler says youth education in agriculture is important, as many family farms are lost each year.
“We are very lucky to have the Boone County Fair,” Fowler said. “They’ve done a great job. It’s all about the kids and promoting, and educating with their projects, and also with learning to help and serve others. So, it’s a great learning experience.”
4-H poultry superintendent Karen Tuttle says over 600 different birds will be judged over the the course of the fair.
“We’re really anxious to have more people find out what we do here, and there’s so many things people don’t understand,” she said. “Whether you know you’re talking about: is a brown egg better than a white egg? Or do brown chickens lay brown eggs? Or all chicks are not yellow. There’s so many basic things that it’s fun to share with everybody.”
Adyson said, “I like showing people everything, so I kind of hope that [my kids] will do it in the future.