Each year, organizers of the Hereford Junior Farm Fair try to uphold established traditions while adding new elements.
"We are excited about this new opportunity for our exhibitors," said fair coordinator David Cavey.
Nobody is more excited than Shelby Sheats, 13, and her sister, Hannah Sheats, 9, of Parkton. They will be bringing chickens, ducks and turkeys to the fair.
"It'll be great for people to see the different types of chickens and learn how we take care of them," Shelby said. "People use eggs for everything, but a lot of people don't even know where they come from."
Alpacas were added to last year's fair, and they will be back for judging this year.
The fair is open to Baltimore County residents under age 21, with no requirement to belong to a 4-H club.
Indoor exhibits, such as homegrown vegetables or flowers, photographs, homemade clothing and arts, and crafts are due at the agriculture center by 6 p.m. on Aug. 10.
A pet show begins at 6:30 p.m. Awards are given in categories such as best dressed, prettiest, best performance and best-handled pets.
The next day features animal exhibits and judging that run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In addition to poultry and alpacas, judging includes the fair regulars — swine, sheep, cattle, rabbits, guinea pigs and goats.
Visitors to the indoor exhibits, also open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 11, are asked to vote for their favorite. The winner will receive the Tom LaMonica Memorial Herford Junior Farm Fair Peoples' Choice Award, started last year to honor the memory of LaMonica and his support for the fair and the county's youth.
Food and drinks will be for sale from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The fair began in 1945 at Sparks High School and moved to Hereford High School grounds when the school opened in 1954. Because of proposed school construction in 2010, the fair moved to Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center in Parkton. That site was offered again last year, but the fair board decided the agriculture center was the best fit.
The board's decision has proven to be a good one, since last year's fair saw an increase in the number of visitors and exhibitors over the previous year.
The Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture in Hunt Valley is located at 1114 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley. For more information and registration forms, go to http://www.herefordjrfarmfair.com.