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Teens Show Their Animals at County Fairs

The very first Cumberland fair was October tenth and the eleventh of 1868. It was held right in the center of town which is now Greely High school. This fair gave people a chance to show off their animals. All these years later, many teens like TA junior, Ellie Judice, still show their animals. 

Many of these shows are run through 4-H programs led by volunteers who specialize in certain animal species. According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 2,600 students participated in 4-H clubs in 2016. 

Judice has been involved with the Cumberland fair since middle school. 

Ellie Judice’s Rabbit 

“This is my fourth year doing the Cumberland Fair. I show Cavies which is the more accurate term for guinea pigs. There are a rabbit and cavy show at the fair which I attended. My sister shows rabbits at the fair while I show my Cavies. I chose this fair because it is one of the closer fairs that offers a cavy and rabbit show. Also, it is a chance to compete against different breeders and see what types of cavies other people have.” Judice continued. “ I go back because I enjoy competing with my cavies and I enjoy seeing almost every kind of cavy and rabbit breed there in just one small building. The fair means so much to me because it gives me the chance to prove my cavies are the best and it allows me to meet new breeders who share the same love I do. The fair is a place where people of all types can come and learn more about agriculture while enjoying the experience.” 

Jared Kimball’s Cow

Senior Jared Kimball has been participating in 4H and showing his animals for ten years. He mostly brings black Angus heifers and steers and shows at the Fryeburg Fair because he has been going there with his family his whole life and just loves it. 

“I sold a steer this year for almost three thousand dollars. That may seem like a lot, but I put about eighteen hundred into him and bought him for seven hundred as a yearling.”

Four years ago was his best steer. Kimball says he went for about forty-five hundred. “It all depends on how the market is for beef every year. He won fourth place out of thirty steers. Next year will be my last year since I will be nineteen. I’ll miss it! Maybe someday my nephew, Mason, will do 4-H, I hope so!” said Jared. 

During the eight days of the Fryeburg Fair, over 3,000 animals are on the fairgrounds for the week. And although it is smaller, Cumberland Fairground hosts 4-H clubs showing beef, dairy cattle, dairy goats, dogs, horses, sheep, swine, and steers, rabbits, poultry and more! If you missed the local fairs this year, put them on your calendar for next year and be sure to go appreciate all the hard work that goes into raising healthy animals –and why not enjoy a fried dough and french fries while you are there! 

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