Farm animals get early attention as Champaign County Fair opens

Hayden King, 14, and his dairy cow play games on his cell phone to pass the time Friday, August 3, 2018 in one of the barns at the Champaign County Fair. The fair officially opened Friday and runs through August 10. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

caption arrowCaption
Hayden King, 14, and his dairy cow play games on his cell phone to pass the time Friday, August 3, 2018 in one of the barns at the Champaign County Fair. The fair officially opened Friday and runs through August 10. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Activities started early at the 177th Champaign County Fair with those planning to participate in the showmanship and market competitions weighing their animals and receiving their class assignments.

Brandi Powell, 18, and JT Todd, 12, both from Urbana, were crowned the Champaign County senior and junior goat ambassadors, respectively, and quickly got to work at the Champaign County Fairgrounds in Urbana.

“Their job is to help other kids, especially first year members that don’t know the ropes,” said Brittany Todd, member of the Senior Goat Council for Champaign County.

TRENDING: Mercy to build $14M medical campus in Enon

Helping younger competitors means being available throughout the barn and “being a friendly face for the younger exhibitors to come up to if they have a question,” Todd said.

Other duties of goat ambassador include helping with shows and weigh-ins and passing out ribbons, Powell said. “Wherever we are needed, we help promote the goat industry.”

Xander Daiz, 10, from St. Paris will be showing animals at the fair for the second year in a row. He will compete in the meat market, dairy breeding, and pygmy goat competition. “I’ve never really been in that many competitions, so this is kind of exciting,” he said.

Emma Hostetler, 15, from Urbana, will be showing goats for the first time. “I’m looking forward to seeing how my first year goes,” she said.

RELATED: Get ready for the 177th Champaign County Fair

Therese Calland, from Springhills, has been attending the Champaign County Fair for more than 40 years. Her grandchildren will be showing animals. To her, the fair is most important for the kids. “It shows them teamwork, how to be responsible, and how to take care of animals,” she said.

Ashton Arnett, 18, was last year’s fair queen. She said that she is most looking forward to crowning this year’s winner queen, which will happen on Sunday, Aug. 5. “I think it’s going to go well. I’m excited,” she said.

The Champaign County Fair runs through Saturday, Aug. 10.

Kenny Lensman, chairman of the Swine Committee is looking for higher attendance this year. “Hopefully the weather holds and we have a great fair,” he said.

About the Author