Fryeburg Fair 4-H Superintendent Donna Flint greets a couple of her grandchildren’s market lambs at the fair on Monday. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

FRYEBURG — More than 190 4-Hers from around northern New England and Massachusetts are exhibiting their animals at the Fryeburg Fair this week.

Beef heifers, working steers, dairy cows, swine and sheep are among the creatures being shown during the eight-day fair.

“The 4-H kids have their first shows on opening day, Sunday,” said Donna Flint, 4-H superintendent for the fair. “Then they come back on Saturday and continue through the second weekend.

“The kids who are not in the program show Tuesday to Friday,” she said. “That’s so the 4-H youth, some of whom have traveled throughout the state and beyond during fair season, don’t miss as much school.”

Flint said, “We put in 18-hour days running the program here. During the week I have three people working in the office and three in the barns. On weekends, the office is staffed by seven. And the group leaders, who are volunteers, help out throughout, not just with the animals, but keeping an eye on the kids.”

Flint estimated there were 55 steers at the fair Monday, 21 market lambs, close to two dozen beef heifers and even more working steers.

“I believe the total number of sheep today is at about 95,” she said. “A whole group just arrived from being shown at the Deerfield Fair,” which just wrapped up in New Hampshire.

Natalie Berry of Fryeburg takes her market hog Diesel to the show ring at the Fryeburg Fair on Monday. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

Flint, who is from Sanford, has been involved with 4-H since she was a member in the early 1970s.

“I started working in the barn at Fryeburg in 1988,” she said. “I’ve been superintendent for three years now. And every year it’s different.”

4-H youth are between 9 and 18 years old.

“It’s a big commitment and hard work to do 4-H,” she explained. “Not all stay with it all the way through. But it’s not just for livestock. Basically, any interest a kid has can be found in 4-H. There are science and technology, engineering projects, and the traditional skills as well like sewing, fiber arts, food arts. Those areas are part of the fair as well.”

On Monday afternoon, seven 4-H members were preparing their market hogs to be shown in the evening. The pigs were transported from the 4-H barn to the livestock arena in portable chutes on wheels.

Natalie Berry’s pig Diesel had to be coaxed to leave his stall for the chute.

“He’s made friends with the pig beside him,” said Berry, who lives in Fryeburg. “He didn’t want to leave him behind.”

But with some assistance, Berry and Diesel made their way into the chute and out of the barn. Once in the arena, Diesel was eventually reunited with his neighbor and the two became competitors for the evening.


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