by Lisa Tome
Ethan Lacher has taken his role as a first year Junior Fair Board member seriously.
So much so that Lacher, 15, slept in the beef barn most nights during the fair.
Lacher, a member of the Calvert Boys and Girls 4-H Club, was showing ducks, chickens, and pigs at the fair. "I work on the fair all year round. When one project ends, the next one starts," he said. His family lives on a farmette and raises poultry.
His duties during the fair were broad-ranged. "We help set up. Yesterday, (last week) for Children's Day, we prepped all the goodie bags. People count on you to get your stuff done when they ask you to," said Lacher. In addition to serving on the Junior Fair Board, he was also accumulating service learning hours, a graduation requirement. Lacher estimated that he'd put in at least 80 hours service during the fair.
In addition to completing his Fair Board duties, Lacher was also tending his animals. His pigs, No Name and Sadie, were born in February. He was maintaining their pen and feeding them while at the fair.
"Pigs aren't bad. They just take some patience. They don't always want to work with you," said Lacher. He has worked with the pigs for months and now they are headed for butchering. Lacher is used to that - his pets becoming his dinner.
Travis Bare, 11, bought three market hogs in April and began raising them for the fair. He bought the trio of 40 pound hogs and tended them. Caspar grew to 272 pounds, Julio to 236 pounds, and Shadow to 196 pounds. "When they're small, they don't poop as much. The older they get, the more work they are," said Bare, who admitted that he was struggling with the fact that his pets were going to be butchered.
Presleigh Stone, age four and one-half, was learning the ropes at the fair. Stone was showing sheep at the fair for the first time. She was learning the show ropes from an older 4-H club member.