Showing 4-H animals at Clark County Fair offers valuable lessons, lifelong memories

Mother in fourth-generation of 4-H family: ‘It teaches them so much about life in general.’

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

For some, the Clark County Fair is a time to enjoy rides, carnival games and fried food. But for others, it’s a time where months of hard work pays off and comes to an end.

Raising animals in 4-H is a full-time job for the children who take part, said the mother of three 4-H’ers, Heather Clem.

Clem and her husband are raising a fourth generation of 4-H kids showing animals at the fair.

“It teaches them so much about life in general as they’re learning how to take care of another living thing,” Clem said Wednesday. “It teaches them responsibility; they build a great group of friends and memories that will last a lifetime.”

One of her sons, Bentlee, shows both steers and sheep. His favorite animals is his steer named Austin, which he is taking to the Ohio State Fair next week. Heather Clem’s daughter, Hallie, shows sheep and steers as well as taking part in miscellaneous 4-H projects. Her favorite animal is her sheep, Rainbow.

“A lot of work goes into showing 4-H animals. It’s a big process, and we couldn’t do it without family and friends to support us,” said Heather Clem.

Raising and showing animals takes a lot of commitment — early mornings, late nights and hard work.

“There can be a lot of tears sometimes, but there’s a lot of smiles when things go right,” said Heather Clem.

The Clem family has been camping out at the fair all week in the same camping spot that her grandmother had. Everyone knows where to find them, she said.

Hallie Clem’s favorite part of the fair, besides her sheep, are her sewing projects, which included a dress and an embellished denim jacket. Bentlee’s favorite thing about the fair, besides his steers, is hanging out with his friends.

The Clark County Fair has two full days remaining before it closes Friday night. A $6 general admission offers several chances to see the sea lions and XPogo shows along the midway, as well as a wood carver and magician.

An Elvis tribute artist will perform Thursday night in the Big Tent, and the calf and pig scrambles will finish off the fair on Friday.

The final two days will be hot with temperatures reaching mid-90s. Precautions such as staying hydrated and taking breaks in the shade are encouraged.

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