FAIRBURY - Visitors come from near and far to attend the Fairbury Fair. And we mean far.
Two young farmers from Wales were among those taking in the swine show Wednesday morning. Bleddyn Davis and Steffan Nutting are visiting the United States through an exchange between the young farmer club in their country and the FFA in America.
“I’m very impressed with the hog show that’s going on here today,” Davis said. “There is a high standard of hogs here and it’s a good show to be a part of.”
A show such as the one in Fairbury is rare in Wales, which has mostly sheep and cattle shows. Davis raises 900 sheep in his home country that is full of beef, sheep and dairy but lacks the crops of the Midwest. Nutting is a primary school teacher.
“To experience something like this is totally different and very interesting,” added Davis.
Hayden Miller of Campus showed seven pigs on the fair’s opening day.
“It feels good to get first,” he admitted.
In addition to showing in Livingston County, Miller has shown at Springfield and Des Moines, Iowa. He said he did “pretty good” at the State Fair this year and has some advice for fellow exhibitors.
“If you show them, just make sure to feed them twice a day.”
Fair board member Mark Trainor was up with the roosters to begin his fair duties for the day.
“I love this place,” he said.
Trainor has served on the board for about six months. He spent quite a bit of time volunteering before that. Trainor appreciates the efforts of countless volunteers and sponsors.
“If it wasn’t for them, there is no way this could happen. We thank all of the sponsors and then all the people that just show up and enjoy the fair.”
The new agriculture teacher at Prairie Central High School, Kole Stadt, could be seen near the ag exhibit area throughout the day. The area is targeted at young children with hands-on activities but the older crowd seemed to enjoy all of the antique tractors on display.
“Most of the tractors we are debuting here today, the high school has redone in the past,” Stadt explained.
Stadt grew up in Kankakee County and was involved in 4-H and FFA through the years, showing cattle and draft horses. He graduated from Western Illinois University in May before landing the job at Prairie Central.
“I feel unbelievably fortunate to be able to acquire this position and be a part of it and I hope I can help carry on those traditions.”
The Prairie Central FFA chapter has eight qualifying teams for nationals this year.