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View from the Cab: Another great fair

A wood carver at last week's Livingston County Ag Fair near Pontiac / CIFN photo.

Another Livingston County Ag Fair is in the books.

I had a great time helping out with this year’s event at 4-H Park near Pontiac, emceeing the king and queen contest on Wednesday and the ag olympics event Thursday. The fair is always a lot of fun and it’s great to see what a bright future these kids have. The hard work that goes into the projects is very impressive.

Congratulations to this year’s fair king Garrett Pratt and queen Laney Hunter. Each receives a $500 scholarship. Pratt is the son of Larry and Deanna Pratt and Hunter is the daughter of Amy and Micheal Hunter. Runner-up was Mackenzie Mantia, who receives a $250 scholarship.

The king and queen always participate in fair activities, such as handing out ribbons and helping with evening events. They also have the honor of riding in the big Threshermen’s Parade through downtown Pontiac the Sunday before Labor Day.

Here is some interesting information regarding Livingston County 4-H courtesy of Alcha Corban, an educator for 4-H Youth Development with the University of Illinois Extension: the county has 322 4-H members, 51 Cloverbuds, 19 4-H clubs and 12 Cloverbud clubs. There were 244 members who exhibited at this year’s fair with 1,702 projects entered.

The world population is expected to surpass nine billion people by 2050 which creates higher demand for food, water, productive land and environmentally-safe practices. Producers will face challenges dealing with regulations, food safety, consumer attitudes and profitability. Many individual 4-H project enrollments are related to livestock production and the care of animals where management practices are learned to produce safe food for the growing population.

Illinois 4-H members who are far removed from the source of the food they eat often experience agriculture for the first time through fairs. All 4-H’ers involved in animal science projects are certified in animal ethics and quality care and over half of those with livestock projects spend more than 10 hours a week caring for their animals.

These young people gain life skills like communication, accepting differences, teamwork, cooperation, concern for others and self-responsibility. We could all learn a thing or two from 4-H members.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered each week by Petersen Motors of Fairbury)

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