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The things you learn when you aren’t expecting it!

Educational Poster JudgesSpent the day with a bunch of amazing 4H volunteers judging the educational posters today.  We were looking for well-designed, eye-catching, informational posters.  Can they been seen from 10 feet?  Any spelling errors (a big no-no!)  Do the illustrations add to the content of the poster?  Some yes, some no.  Anyhow, a good time was had by all.  In the process I learned a few things.  For example, did you know:

  • Persian cats can have excessive lacrimation (tearing),
  • There are 13 breeds of cavy,
  • Goats can live as long as 12 years,
  • How to clip a rabbit’s claws (hint, it involves a flashlight!),
  • How much water a horse drinks daily (5-10 gallons),
  • Iceberg lettuce is toxic to rabbits,
  • Grapes are bad for dogs,
  • All the body parts of an American Cavy (commonly called a guinea pig).

As I was working with this great group of adults and teens I reflected on the good people that are working behind the scenes to make this year’s Kitsap County Fair and Stampede a success.  County fairs have struggled with declining revenues and tight budgets.  Many counties have discontinued their fairs as a way to cut costs.  We are fortunate that Kitsap County has found a way to continue their fair – and the 1000s of hours of volunteer service given by community partners like 4H, local sailors and soldiers, clubs and organizations and individuals make this possible.  In addition to giving time, pressure washing and painting buildings, staffing display areas, taking tickets at the gates, parking cars and sharing educational materials and activities with the fair-going public, these volunteers pay for their own parking and admission.  Many of the folks in the livestock and equine exhibit areas even take their vacation during the week of the fair so that they are able to exhibit at the fair.  I am sure that there are others who exhibit who do the same – I just don’t know them personally!

So, if you haven’t been to the “Big County Fair” in a few years, it is time to go back and enjoy it!  Eat some fried food, buy a couple knives in the Pavilion, eat some cotton candy, visit the WSU booth in the Cat Barn, eat an elephant ear, check out the livestock and still-life exhibits, and pay attention to the educational posters!  I guarantee – you will learn a few things!

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