Youngest 4-H Fair visitors challenged to be fashionable or 'Be a Farmer'

The Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair offered activities for kids of all ages Monday, from fashion shows to a farm-inspired obstacle course.

The Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair offered activities for kids Monday, from fashion shows to a farm-inspired obstacle course.

Under one tent, girls ages 5 to 19 modeled homemade garments in the Mini Fashion Revue.


From pants to dresses and T-shirts, girls displayed the clothes while descriptions of the techniques and fabrics used were read over a loud speaker.

For Kayla Rill, 5, it was her first time participating in the revue.

For her debut, her mom, Tiffany Rill, sewed her a skirt made from material Kayla picked out: a material that featured cats on a pink background.

Kayla had been watching her older sister, Kira, participate in the fashion revue and show her animals at the fair for years, Rill said. Now she was finally old enough to participate herself.

"She was excited to do this," Tiffany Rill said.

Rill said she likes the things her kids learn from participating in 4-H. This year, Kira, 8, even sewed the apron she modeled for the revue herself.

"We're home-schoolers," Tiffany Rill said. "I like that they get to have a club that they participate in."

For kids looking for a different kind of challenge, Katie Weishaar, along with her husband, Jimmy, and his brother, Derek Weishaar, offered a Be a Farmer Contest that challenged kids to try their hand at daily farm activities such as collecting eggs, tossing hay bales and milking a cow.

When the Weishaar brothers were younger, they said, there was always a kids' farmer competition and it was a highlight of the fair every year.

When the woman who used to organize it stopped hosting it, it felt like something was missing at the fair, Jimmy Weishaar said.

"We were like, 'Why don't we bring something like that back?' " he said.

This year's Be a Farmer Contest, which is held daily through Thursday, marks about the eighth year the Weishaars have organized it, they said.

The competition, which is free, is open to kids ages 3 to 8.

Participants must climb hay bales to retrieve an egg carton that they then use to collect fake eggs. When they've filled the carton, they ride a tractor toy to a bin filled with corn kernels, where they are assigned a farm animal they have to find a figurine of in the pile of kernels. After then tossing some hay bales as far as they can, they milk a simulated cow and race to the finish line on a stick horse.


Those with the best two times in each age group — 3 through 5 and 6 through 8 — win a prize.

For Kyliegh Heath, 7, it wasn't her first time doing some of the things involved in the contest.

"My friend has a farm, and I get the eggs from her," she said, adding that she liked the part of the contest that required her to collect the eggs.

Cheyenne Graf, 6, said throwing the hay bales was hard, but she managed as onlookers cheered her on.

"I liked feeding Bessie," she said, referring to the makeshift milking cow, composed of a piece of plywood, a container of water and some tubing.

Paxton Sherwood, who took home a toy tractor as his first-place prize for the 6-8 age group, said he'd also done most of the things the competition simulated in real life at home on his family's 5-acre farm in Emmitsburg.

Having completed the contest last year, too, his dad, Derek, said he already knew he wanted to try it again at this year's fair.

"As soon as we saw it, we were like, 'We're going over there,' " Derek Sherwood said.

The Be a Farmer Contest takes place every night at 6 p.m. in the vendor area through Thursday.


If you go

Tuesday fair highlights

1:30 p.m. Southern Barnyard Pig Racing Vendor Area

4-9 p.m. Mechanical Bull Rides Vendor Area

11 a.m.–9 p.m. Kids Pony Rides Vendor Area

6:30 p.m. Wild West Night Buck Miller Arena

7 p.m. Salem Bottom Boys Activity Tent