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Fair a labor of love for many

A view of the Livingston County Fair dairy show Wednesday morning / CIFN photo.

PONTIAC – The 90 plus degree temperatures and an early morning thunderstorms didn’t dampen the spirits of those attending the Livingston County Ag Fair on Wednesday.

Nine-year-old Haidyn Francis of the Graymont Achievers 4-H club spent the morning keeping her pigs cool, among other things.

“We have to feed them and give them water and make sure the fans are turned on,” she explained.

Haidyn also entered cookies and vegetables at the fair.

Elijah Cornell of Gridley was bringing his small engines project into the grounds to be judged Wednesday, walking alongside his mother and brother. Cornell said the project took a couple of hours to do, with his dad’s help.

“It is about the ignition system of a small engine,” Cornell said.

Cornell also has cooking projects at the fair and took part in the dog show. The young man is a member of the Waldo Peppy Club.

Ashley Robinson of Pontiac keeps busy with cake decorating, photography, scapbooking and horses – which are her favorite. The member of the Flanagan Town and Country 4-H club enjoys the fair.

“It’s just fun,” Robinson said. “You make a lot of friends here.”

Justin Fox of the Emington Hot Shots and Kylie Miller of the Fairbury Prairie Farmers were busy campaigning for king and queen during opening day of the fair. Fox said candidates must go through a three part application process.

“We have been campaigning all day for kids to vote,” Fox noted.

The recent high school graduate plans to attend Elmhurst College next year to play basketball. Fox is showing six hogs at this year’s fair and is in his tenth year with 4-H.

Miller was handing out candy, fruit snacks, water and snickers to kids in hopes of garnering some extra votes. Miller shows pigs and is also in her tenth year with 4-H. She also recently graduated high school and plans to attend Joliet Junior College in the fall, majoring in ag education.

“It has really been a great experience getting to meet new people and showing pigs every year,” Miller said.

Parent Matt Boucher of Dwight was helping his children prepare to show hogs for the first time. They also have various 4-H projects such as cooking and woodworking.

"We got our three hogs all checked in and it's kind of a learning experience. We are learning as we go."

Boucher admits it has been a lot of work to get to the point where his kids are at today, as they have been busy washing animals everyday and practicing for the show ring.

The Livingston County Ag Fair runs through Saturday at 4-H Park near Pontiac.

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