Timonium Fairgrounds came alive last week with bleeps, moos, cock-a-doodle-dos and neighs from the animal kingdom and lots of chatter, chuckles and commands from youth of the human species.
They were there for the annual Baltimore County 4-H Fair taking place from July 10 to 13 and which featured a host of youths showing their dogs, swine, rabbits, horses, dairy steer, goats, and others. There were also displays for agriculture, art and food, a car show, animal costume contest, livestock buyers' reception and livestock auction.
A new addition last year and back by popular demand was Agro Land, an interactive area where youths can simulate activities they would find on a farm.
"It's a fun way for youth to learn about agriculture," wrote Nia Imani Fields, 4-H educator and senior agent for University of Maryland Extension Baltimore County, in an email.
Fields said there are more than 1,500 youths who participate in the Baltimore County 4-H program through community clubs, after-school programs, camps and other venues. Members represent Baltimore County communities from rural communities in north county to the urban areas surrounding the city.
Projects range from animal science to robotics, Fields said. While many of the large animal-related projects are completed by youths who live on farms, Baltimore County 4-H also have young people who live in urban areas who lease large animals for the program.
Fields said that dozens of young people showed in the fair and many more participated in the fair tour and Agro Land program. The fair is coordinated by a dedicated group of 4-H volunteers on the fair board.