OXFORD — Kittens, bunnies, cows, ponies and, most of all, the little piglets commanded the attention of hundreds of students Wednesday during the Oxford County Fair’s annual Educational day.

More than 600 students, ranging in ages from 3 to 11, came from schools in SAD 17, based in Oxford, RSU 10 in the Rumford-Dixfield-Buckfield region, and SAD 44, based in Bethel. Preschools, private schools and home schools also had students in attendance from Lewiston, Otisfield and other communities.

The education program is developed by the Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District in Paris each year to teach students about agriculture and conservation.

“I like all these little pigs,” Kodi Smith, a first-grade student at Otisfield Elementary School, said as he and other classmates gathered around the piglets.

The Inch by Inch Farm in Greenwood presented a wildly popular petting zoo complete with geese, calves, bunnies, piglets and other animals. Children, accompanied by an adult, were allowed to roam around the indoor petting zoo to touch the animals provided by Mindy and David Sweetser.

Some students preferred the larger animals which were housed in stables and stalls in other areas on the fairground. Miranda, a student at the Hartford-Sumner Elementary School, said her favorites are horses.

Chloee, a 6-year-old Waterford Elementary School student, said she liked the cows the best because they were soft when she patted them.

Students were also entertained by a number of demonstrations, including the Norway Fire Department’s smoke house where youngsters from the Dixfield Elementary School were seen running out the doors in the smoke. They received information about fire safety and a coupon for a free beverage for their efforts.

The Atlantic Partners EMS of Winslow was another popular attraction for the students who watched the test dummy “Sally” go through an automobile crash test with a seat belt and without a seat belt. Rick Tarr, a representative with the company, said they received a highway safety grant to buy the equipment.

“It’s been pretty effective with the kids,” he said.

Jeannie Federico of the Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District in Paris provided a checklist of learning stations students went to and questions for teachers to go over with the students.

For example, in grades one and two, students would learn about and be asked questions about wild birds, watersheds, livestock, spinning and forestry, among other topics. The students spent 10 to 15 minutes at each learning station.

Some of the children, such as Madison Brown, a Paris Elementary School student, spend the week at the fair with their families to show and sell their animals.

Brown, who comes to the fair each year with her twin sister, Makayla, and their grandmother, Anna Brown of Anna and Scott Brown’s Valley View Farm, showed other students how they shear their yearling ewe. The commercial lambs will be sold at auction Friday.

The fair continues Thursday with Community Day, featuring a special welcome to senior citizens, entertainment, the popular fry pan toss, harness racing and other activities.

Friday features Woodmen’s Day and the youth market and beef sale. The evening activities include a demolition derby.

Saturday is Family Fun Day and 4-H Day, concluding with the Kenny Rogers concert.

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