Today, August 27, 2015 marks the start of the Great New York State Fair. Fair goers have the opportunity to visit many exhibits, competitions and  activities from today until September 7th. Here is the website for the Fair:

The Great New York State Fair | Aug. 27 – Sept. 7, 2015

Posted in 4-H Science

4-H Livestock Auction Benefit

Last Saturday, The First Annual Mohawk Valley 4-H Dairy & Livestock Show and Sale was held by the 4-H Programs of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. Livestock sold included beef steers, hogs, and dairy steers. A grand total of eight animals were sold,  and four animals were donated back by their buyers to be resold again. The proceeds from these sales will benefit the 4-H program.

Here is a picture from the event of MacKenzie with her Reserve Champion hog and his buyer, Doug Thompson. MacKenzie (right) sold her champion steer to Thompson of G & T Farms. The steer was donated back by Thompson, where he was bought by John Calidonna from Clinton Tractor.

4-H Livestock

Revenue generated from this event amounted to $19,000. Members from 4-H stated that this will be used for purchasing animals for next year’s auction, donations to charities, and college tuition. The buyers, bidders, and sponsors are greatly appreciated for coming out to this event to support the 4-H youth.

Posted in 4-H Science, News

Smoothie Challenge

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     Today, on the last day of the fair, the first ever 4-H Smoothie Challenge was held at the center stage in the Youth building.  They are hoping to make this an annual event. 
     Four teams composed of 4-Hers from all over the state competed in two contests.  In the first contest teams could bring their own recipes.  This part of the contest was judged by their peers from other counties. The second part of the contest was where teens were given a scenario where they would have to make up a smoothie recipe with certain nutritional requirements. Then they had to make their smoothie recipe from scratch. This part of the competition had adult judges.
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     All the participants had fun and a lot of delicious healthy smoothies were made.  The recipes that the youth used will be posted on the New York State 4-H web page.  So make sure to check them out.  I can’t wait until next year’s smoothie challenge!by Abigail Santora


Posted in 4-H Science

Twins at the Birthing Center

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Dairy Cow Live Birthing Center here at the New York State Fair, but you probably haven’t heard what happened Sunday at 3:00 in the morning. I spoke to Jessica, one of the hosts there, and she said at 3:00 AM she got a call saying one of the cows was having a baby, so she rushed over and by the cowtime she got there a heifer calf had already been born (around 3:35). The calf was in great condition and the birth had gone very quickly and easily, however, normally the mother cow gets up after the birth and starts to clean off the calf, but this mother did not. Jessica started cleaning off the calf herself, then, fearing something was wrong, went over to check on the mother. What she saw was very surprising, there were two feet sticking out of the back of the mother cow. She was giving birth to twins! Jessica helped the mother cow2deliver her second calf, this one a bull, and once it was over, the mother got up and started tending to her babies. Within fifteen minutes both the newborns were standing.

Only ten percent of cow pregnancies result in twins, and this one was very much unexpected. Jessica told me that cows can have ultrasounds done, but this one had not, mainly because it’s very expensive. This is a special moment because it is the first pair of twins the Birthing Center has had.

Both of the calves are doing fine, as well as their mother, and they are all resting comfortably at the center. The girl calf that was born first has been named Spunky and her younger brother has been named Hunky. They are both adorable and you can still get a glimpse of them today for yourself; they are in pens right next to each other in the front of the center. A calf named Molly, who was born just a couple of hours ago, is also there. So go and check out the Birthing Center’s first pair of twins.

–Azure D’Angelo

Posted in 4-H Science

4-Hers held their banners high in the NYS fair parade

NYS Fair 268Yesterday at six o’clock 4-Hers from all over the state marched in the New York State Fair Daily Parade. They lined up at Gate 12 and marched all the way to the Indian Village. Crowds came to watch and clap for all the parade participants. With the 4-H Connects Kids to Cornell banner in front, several Fashion NYS Fair signRevue signs, and a Shooting Sports banner at the back, they got plenty of cheers from the crowd and even several high fives. They were behind a truck that was playing fun music, so they danced most of the long way. Even Dana D. from Niagara County, who was wearing ice skates with skateguards, didn’t mind the walk. The 4-Hers held their banners high to promote 4-H and had a lot of fun in the process! Here are some pictures of the parade!

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Posted in 4-H Science

Last Day

     Today is the  12th and last day of the New York State fair, and everyone here at the Youth Building is busy getting everything packed up and ready to leave.  The kitchen is being cleaned out and the dorms are empty.
     But even though it’s everyone’s last day, it still might be the busiest. Today is “Dollar Day” where the entry fee is only one dollar, along with all of the midway rides.  Some of the vendors are also having dollar specials. So even though this is the last day of the fair, I’m sure vendors will be looking to do some final business – making some extra money before they leave.
     Plenty of people here at the Youth building are enjoying their last day of work, but many are also sad to be leaving.  For Nancy Schaff, the State STEM Program Specialist at Cornell University in the State 4-H office, this is her final day of work; she is retiring.  For some youth it will also be their last year working at the fair as 4-Hers, because they are going to college next year and won’t be 4-H eligible.  And even if it’s not a 4-Hers last year, they still have to say goodbye to all of the new friends they have made from different counties, or even old friends that they only see at fair time.  A couple of 4-H kids are actually celebrating their birthday here at the fair.
     Most people however are probably looking forward to going home and finally getting a good night’s sleep. After all, school starts in a couple days, so hopefully everyone can rest up before they have to head off to start a new school year.
–Azure D’Angelo
Posted in 4-H Science

Should I Pet a Zebra or a Camel at the Fair?

zoo     As part of your tour of the Great New York State Fair be sure to check out the Eudora Farms Petting Zoo. This collection of animals is not your usual sheep and pigs petting zoo. They have animals from Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. There are camels, monkeys, parrots, a zebra, a yak, a tortoise and a watusi. There are also several breeds of goats and sheep as well as two donkeys, a miniature horse and a llama. Unfortunately, the giraffe and the kangaroo were not there today when I went.
     With every breed of animal there is a sign that explains where it originated and what they are used for. This makes the zoo educational as well as IMG_0433fun.  For instance, you may be wondering, “What is a watusi?”  I learned that the watusi is a breed of cattle native to Africa. They have large, distinctive horns that can reach up to 8 feet that are not only used for defense but help to cool them in the hot African sun.zoo3
     The best part is that the petting zoo is free. If you want, there is grain and carrots available for a small fee to feed the animals.  All the animals are well-behaved and extremely cute. The donkey and camel are surprisingly soft.
     This is a great place to take the kids or even to go check out for yourself! You can pet a camel AND a zebra!
by Abigail Santora
Posted in 4-H Science