Windham County 4-H Fair offers opportunity for members to show off work

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Aug. 6, 2013
Kendall leads a calf through an obstacle course at the Windham County 4-H Fair. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Kendall leads a calf through an obstacle course at the Windham County 4-H Fair. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Each year, members of the Windham County 4-H Club converge upon the Brooklyn Fairgrounds in early August for their annual fair. “They spend all year working on these projects, and this is an opportunity for them to showcase them,” said Marc Cournoyer, Windham County 4-H program coordinator, at this year's fair, held Aug. 2 through 4.

One of the great things about the event, “is that the young people take responsibility for putting on the fair,” said Cournoyer. Meeting monthly year-round, members arrange for all aspects of fair organization.

Jamie Coleman, a Columbia resident who is entering her junior year in the Lyman Memorial High School agriculture program, served as this year’s fair association president. “There are a lot of details to be worked out,” said Coleman, adding that issues such as site clean-up, sponsorship procurement, and entertainment selection and booking all fall to club members.

The members are simultaneously working on their projects. “Jamie is showing her sheep here at the fair, too,” pointed out Cournoyer.

Eastford resident Brierra McNeely, entering her freshman year at Killingly High School, was milking her heifer, Sassafras, in a stall outside the large dairy barn on an overcast Saturday afternoon. She said that prepping for the fair included practice with showing her animal, and clipping and washing the cow. Year-long, however, club members are responsible for caring for their animals, which includes keeping a record of feed, goals, time input, money input, achievements, and other aspects of animal care. Record books are turned in at the fair, and become part of the judging of projects. Record books, “are meant to teach them to keep track of their projects,” said Cournoyer.

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