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Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair continues educating future generations on agriculture

Carroll County continued to show off its pride and heritage in agriculture Monday at the Carroll County 4-H & FFA fair, in its 65th year at the Carroll County Agriculture Center and traces its origin to 1897. The fair, which continues through Friday night, offers a chance for future generations to learn more about agriculture and embrace the animals that contribute to it.

Teaching those interested about all things ag is exactly what Miss Carroll County Farm Bureau is all about.

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“In my position, I help educate the people of agriculture and how important it is, in not only the county and the state but the whole nation,” said Elsie McKenzie, crowned the 2019 Miss Carroll County Farm Bureau on Sunday, “and how much it keeps us strong and getting on a better lead for the future.”

Elsie McKenzie, 17, right, who was named 2019 Miss Carroll County Farm Bureau, hands a ribbon to Kaylah Simpson, 16, showing a brown Swiss fall yearling in the Dairy Cattle Show during the Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair in Westminster Monday, July 29, 2019.
Elsie McKenzie, 17, right, who was named 2019 Miss Carroll County Farm Bureau, hands a ribbon to Kaylah Simpson, 16, showing a brown Swiss fall yearling in the Dairy Cattle Show during the Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair in Westminster Monday, July 29, 2019.(Dylan Slagle)

A large crowd attended the fair Monday afternoon to support their kids and younger family members that walked their cattle for the Dairy Cattle Show.

Melinda Stauv attended the fair to take her niece and nephew to the cow show but just enjoys going to the fair.

“I would just say the traditions and family gatherings, been coming for years just to hang out,” said Stauv. “We grew up on a farm, I didn’t show or anything like that but just coming and spending time with the family.”

Amy Smith, a 4-H leader, attended the fair to support her daughter and niece.

“I showed when I was in 4-H and I think it’s important for the kids just to experience being with the animals and getting to enjoy showing and having fun with their animals,” said Smith.

A big part of what fair attendee Ashley Paulsen enjoys about the fair is the way the kids engulf themselves in the agriculture lifestyle.

“Just watching all the kids show and watching them showing off what they’ve worked for throughout the year,” said Paulsen. “Even with all the fair entries up top, showing off like ‘look I can sew’ or ‘I am good at taking pictures.’”

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There will be plenty more kids on site Tuesday morning as it is Children’s Day at the fair, with numerous activities for young people to engage in and learn.

To McKenzie, the 4-H fair expresses a sense of coming together to educate others.

“The importance of the 4-H and FFA fair is important to me for having many exhibitors coming all together to show the public how important it is to have a project in agriculture and help teach the public how important it is," said McKenzie.

McKenzie has been to the fair multiple times for her own projects and currently has a beef commercial heifer, pigs and a market lamb.

“This has helped me grow within my years of 4-H and FFA to help me become a better leader and to help me really build that leadership skills to help me become a better person,” said McKenzie.

Attendees not only watched the cattle show but also were able to pet some of the animals such as cows, goats and lambs, along with enjoying a snowball or two outside Shipley Arena.

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“People who don’t get to see agriculture like the 4-H’ers do have a chance to come and experience it,” said Paulsen. “Some kids may not have felt a cow or have felt a pig. I like petting cows.”

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