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B.C. Fair Brings Renewed Interest In Agriculture

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WHITNEY POINT, N.Y. -

While you're walking around the Broome County Fair you might see signs directing you towards the farm animals on the north end. That's because the new focus is to educate people on the origins of the fair.

143 years ago the Broome County Fair was founded through agriculture and farming. To this day, the fair is still molded around the animals. Broome County Fair Board President, Gary Cornell said he got involved in the fair because of the agriculture.

"I've milked cows for over 40 years and its a way to promote the agricultural industry. My end of the fair grounds is on the north end, where the cattle are," said Cornell.

Cornell has been on the fair board for nearly twenty years but 4H Cornell Cooperative Extension Educator, Brian Aukema has been involved in the fair for 40 years. Aukema says the carnival part of the fair draws a crowd but the agriculture draws a much more people.

"The real part of this is the agriculture and having animals here on exhibit for people to see. That's the main purpose of the fair here is to have people see the animals and touch the animals," said Aukema

78 kids, ages 5-18 will showcase their animals at this years fair. Its all through the 4H program that gives kids the opportunity to show-off the animals they spend so much time taking care of.

"I don't know what I would do without 4H. It takes a lot of time finding the right feed, finding the right animal you want. Its really hard but it's a lot of fun," said Youth Teen Ambassador, Lindsey Bird.

This is Bird's second year participating in the 4H program. This year she is showcasing her goats, sheep and chicken. Aukema says it's great to see a renewed interest in livestock.

"When we have animals its 365 days a year and 7 days a week. All these animals need to be fed and these kids are working with the animals every single day. This is an opportunity to take those life skill that they have learned over the year and to bring them to the fair and show the public what they have done," said Aukema.

Aukema and Cornell would like to see more people take interest in the agricultural side to Broome County. So when you're walking around, don't forget to stop by and see the animals.