XENIA — Some fairgoers and 4-Hers learned the process of raising an animal during fair week through a hands-on activity at a Commodity Carnival booth.
“When you are raising an animal, you have to think about health and nutrition, facility cost and wages, transportation and energy bills, and the total cost of the animal,” Rebecca Supinger, county extension educator for 4-H youth development, explained to a group of children gathered in the Assembly Hall.
This year’s commodity was a steer.
During the activity, participants filled plastic eggs with corn feed and slips of paper representing transportation, health and nutrition, and energy. The eggs were then weighed, verified that they were heavy enough, and then dropped down a “Risk Ranch” slot to see if the farmer ended up making money, losing money, or breaking even on his or her steer.
“The goal is for them to see what is involved in raising animals and to help increase public understanding,” Supinger said. “They’ve been really interested and excited about it.”
Supinger said the activity was meant to portray real life and the challenges of raising animals and other commodities.
Everett Jones of Cedarville Hot Shots was impressed by the game as he and his friends competed for prizes.
“They actually are explaining why feeding and transporting your cow is important. I’m learning a lot. I asked them ‘why are you doing it?’ and they explained it,” he said.
Commodity Carnival was held in ten other county fairs in Ohio along with the Ohio State Fair.