Animals move onto fairgrounds

Families pick up lives for agricultural exposition in July

Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple Colby Turon, 14, from JamTu Dairy in West Farmington and a member of the Cows R Us 4H Club, brings his chores from home to the fair as he feeds his dairy cows at the Trumbull County Fair in Bazetta Tuesday afternoon. Sacrifices during fair week normally come in the form of no sleep and putting off baling hay or other crops around the farm.

BAZETTA — While preparing for the Trumbull County Fair typically starts months in advance of the annual agricultural exposition in July, the short time before it begins is when the heavy lifting really happens.

From packing their own bags to loading up at least a week’s worth of feed and gear for their animals, members of local 4-H groups who participate at the fair can make multiple trips to and from their homes.

And, it’s just not about the animals — many families pick up their lives for a week and move to the fairgrounds in Bazetta. Some sleep in their campers or motor homes, while a few exhibitors sleep in their barns.

For exhibitors like Colby Turon, 14, who belongs to the 4-H club Cows R Us in Lordstown, several trips are made to drop off supplies.

“Between cleanup day and our first load of heifers, we’ve made four trips, six by tomorrow,” said Turon, who has been in 4-H for five years.

Allison Rowe, 14, who belongs to 4-H clubs Feathered Friends in Cortland and Kinsman Kids in Kinsman, has spent weeks preparing her goats and poultry, including building the pens.

“I brought 20 chickens, and I have nine goats,” said Rowe. “Pens have to be three by three (feet), chicken pens are provided. We’ve taken three trips so far.”

There many concerns exhibitors have to address while at the fair, the first of which is transporting their animals. Transportation can be dangerous and nerve-wracking for both the driver and the animals, so exhibitors like Turon go to great lengths to make their animals comfortable while moving and living at the fair.

“Usually we take them to the wash rack to clean them up. After they’re clean, we bring them back to the barn, where there’s a foot of straw for them to lay on,” said Turon. “We give (the cows) hay because they calm themselves down as they eat.”

Maggie Guy, 14, of the 4-H club Feathered Friends, said she uses dog crates to transport her chickens. To make them comfortable at the fair, “I give them something that they’re used to, like if they’re used to eating out of a specific bowl,” she said.

But it’s just not the animals moving to the fair, it’s families, too.

Joseph Turon, Colby’s father, has been operating his family farm, JamTu Dairy in West Farmington, since 1993. The farm is about 500 acres with 40 milking cows, as well as dairy cows of all ages.

The Turon family has a camper on the fairgrounds, but most of the time is spent in the barns.

“We have our camper, and that’s where you sleep. (The barn) is our living room for the week,” said the older Turon. “This is the home away from home. When we’re sitting in our living quarters and playing cards or eating food, people will look at you like you’re on a whole different planet.”

Sacrifices during fair week normally come in the form of no sleep and putting off baling hay or other crops around the farm, but the Turon family makes sure necessities are covered.

“When fair time comes, a balance doesn’t occur,” said Turon. “You have to get 4-H stuff done because you are here representing the industry. And sometimes, at home, you sacrifice a little. We have help with milking, because that’s the most important, the cows have to be milked on time.”