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here in sw wisconsin there are open classes for adults and junior classes. our kids have shown for a few years, but we aren't this september. folks take it VERY seriously in this farming community, with school being out for the first friday of fair, and other times kids having to miss for a day or two before, with no problem.

we have friends who have had animals get sick and die after the fair. while ours haven't gotten sick, and the animals are supposed to be healthy, you are exposing your animals to a whole range of stuff that they have not necessarily been around before. then, the fairs each have different rules. our chickens and ducks are tended to by the fair folks and you get in trouble if you try to give your birds more water when they are out. they try to not give the ducks much because they are messy. then you have the small pens the livestock are in. we, frankly, feel guilty having them cooped up, because here they have to be here for the entire fair. you can't bring them in to show and then take them home the next day. also, here you are required to actually go show the animal if you bring it. it can't just sit in the pen, and this means learning the proper way to show, etc. it also takes a big committment of carrying food there,and being there every day to care for them. we take water because they don't drink the city water, so this is more schlepping. but the kids have enjoyed having a purpose there and working hard to show off their animals. it wears me out driving into town every day to do chores...after doing the chores we already have here.
 
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