LOWELL, Mich.– The Kent County Youth Fair opens for the 80th year, Monday.
Visitors will get to see some new exhibits and participate in a couple new events.
But behind the scenes, young handlers will tell you it’s a lot of time and hard work.
“I definitely get nervous,” said Alexandria Schut.
The 18 year-old will be showing off a lamb this week. Even though she’s been showing animals since she was five years old, Schut still gets butterflies.
“Its extremely stressful to know how much hard work you put into it and it’s all, when you judge an animal, it’s all up to that one person’s opinion,” Schut explained.
She fits in time for being a regular teen in between the feedings, bathings, and shearings.
The Kent County Youth Fair is more than just cute animals. It’s a reflection of what these kids learn.
“They’re learning a ton of life skills,” said Fair Board President, Jon Bieneman.
“They learn how to take care of animals, where their food is coming from. Just really a wide range of skills.”
Across the tent, Hailey Loehfelm and Elle Ohlman are excited to show off their hard work with a new Alpaca exhibit.
“Theyre fun to work with and they are so calm and gentle,” Loehfelm explained.
They’ll be judged on how well they interact with their Alpaca during a variety of events.
For young exhibitors like Schut, showing animals is a full-time job. And, it’s a love that will eventually turn into a career.
“Next year I’ll be going to Okalahom State University where I’ll be going into animal science and agriculture law,” Schut said.
For a list of daily activities and new events at the Kent County Youth Fair, click here.