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FFA, 4-H Clubs Prepare For Fair
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Sierra 4-H Club sheep group co-leader Lacey Beam, right, plays the role of show judge while sheep group members practice their showmanship skills to prepare for the Stanislaus County Fair, which runs July 16-25. - photo by Dawn M. Henley/The Leader
Local 4-H and FFA members are washing and grooming their animals, canning fruits, decorating cakes, and working on sewing projects to exhibit at the upcoming Stanislaus County Fair, which runs July 16-25.That’s just to name a few things that the young fair exhibitors are doing to prepare. There’s a lot involved in getting ready for the fair. Along with Oakdale FFA, there are several 4-H clubs — Sierra, River Oaks, Valley Home, Orange Blossom, and Shooting Stars — that typically have members representing myriad projects at the fair. As usual, Oakdale will have a number of livestock exhibitors at this year’s fair.Oakdale FFA adviser Ed Hartzell said the FFA chapter will have 30 total exhibitors. Members will be showing their sheep, meat goats, rabbits, beef, dairy, and swine at the fair. Hartzell is also the beef group leader for Sierra 4-H club and said that between the FFA and Sierra 4-H, there are 38 head of cattle entered — both breeding and market animals.Sierra 4-H Club sheep group leader Gypsy Keene and co-leader Lacey Beam meet with their sheep group members monthly, but have been working with them weekly for the five weeks leading up to the fair and about twice a week for the two weeks prior.Sierra 4-H club alone has 53 head of market and breeding sheep that have been entered by 14 sheep exhibitors at the fair.Sierra also has 15 hogs entered, one of them a breeding animal, by eight exhibitors, reported swine group leader Amy Lehfeldt. There will be one meat goat exhibitor from Sierra, as well as rabbit exhibitors. Sierra 4-H club mom Lisa Rivera reported that most of the club’s 93 members exhibit at the county fair.Valley Home 4-H club has approximately 15 meat goats going to the fair this year, led by group leaders Scott and Tena Heaton.Other projects that Oakdale junior exhibitors will have entered at the fair include tractor restoration, food preservation, arts and crafts, home furnishings, woodworking, horticulture, photography, and more.