Teens raise livestock on display at the Kern County Fair

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — What would happen if your children had to raise a pet but instead of regular household animal it was a pig, a sheep or even a cow?

The fair brings so many new things to town like rides, food and an assortment of beautiful animals like Trixie the cow. These animals are raised by local youth in the town to show at the fair.

“Your hard work definitely pays off with them,” Tessa Ludwig a youth showcasing her dairy heifer said. “It’s about being consistent.”

Dairy heifers also commonly known as cows, but are not as easy to train as you might think.

“She is not used to human contact and so she was really skittish and nervous when I came around,” Lillian Raytis a youth showcasing her dairy heifer said.

Hard work, discipline and compassion are what’s needed to raise these animals. For someone new it’s challenging.

“It’s been nerve racking and a little stressful but in the end it’s really worth doing,” Regan Annis a youth showcasing her pig said.

But for someone with years of experience it’s like second nature.

“My confidence in public speaking and leadership skills have really improved,” Angelyn Renteria a youth showcasing her two pigs said. “There’s people coming through your isles all day everyday asking questions, wanting to see pigs, wanting to know more about what we do.”

Agriculture instructors say this project provides many long-term benefits for students especially after the pandemic.

“Kids have been locked away for a long time and so getting out and being happy and having that opportunity to interact with other individuals and having a shared common purpose has been rewarding for them,” Michael Leishman an agriculture mechanics instructor at Highland High School said.

“The same skills they are using now at fair are the same skills that when they go to get a job that’s going to move them up to leadership positions no matter where they go,” Amber Carter an agriculture instructor at Highland High School said.

The animals will be going on auction on Thursday.

Now the auction will be a physical auction and not a virtual one like the one last year.

The auction will continue on to Saturday.

Starting on Thursday, market hogs will go to auction at 10 a.m.

On Friday, Sheep and goats will go to auction.

While on Saturday, mechanic projects like barbeques and corn hole boards completed by Kern youth will go to auction. Rabbits, chickens, dairy heifers and beef cattle will also go to auction.

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