By Claire Broaddus,
While many students start the school year fresh without any prior obligations, 21 FFA members spent their summer raising animals to be auctioned off at the Yolo County Fair.
The Yolo County Fair is a popular summer event for residents of Yolo County. For most, the fair is about rides and fun games. But for these prospective future farmers, the event is an important educational opportunity into livestock care.
Receiving their animals in late May, the FFA students spent three to four hours each day with their animals working on trust, training and general care.
In addition, the process of raising a market animal for the fair teaches responsibility and business sense to these students. They are required to write, send or hand deliver buyer letters to different business inviting them to the auction.
Chloe McClain, a senior and second year animal raiser raised a lamb again this year because she had a “fun time last year and it was a great experience overall.”
FFA alumna Macey Galloway has been raising animals for FFA for 3 years. This year, she raised two turkeys and a lamb.
Galloway was the reserve champion turkey showman and competed in Round Robin, where she showcased her rabbits, chickens and turkeys. She also was the reserve champion for Supreme Exhibitor, where she made an informational poster about her turkeys and presented it to judges.
Likewise, Daniela Setka is a senior who has been raising animals since she was nine years old. Setka got her start in 4-H through a youth livestock program– spurring her to raise rabbits, chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, cows and steers.
At the end of the day, one sentiment echoes throughout all of these participants–the sweetest part of the fair is seeing their hard work pay off.