Growing up in urban areas most of my life, agriculture was not something I gave a lot of thought to. I knew there was plenty of food because the grocery store shelves were always full. To me, farm animals were something of a novelty you might see at a fair or petting zoo.
What I have come to learn in my 10 years with 4-H, Cooperative Extension’s Youth Development Program, is everything relates to agriculture in some way.
Robeson County’s No. 1 economic indicator is agriculture. According to the N.C. Department of Agriculture, the county is fifth in the state in terms of cash receipts. We rank No. 1 in terms of corn, second in wheat, and seventh in livestock and poultry production. Through 4-H and Future Farmers of America, our youth are introduced to hundreds of careers in agriculture and have the opportunity to carry on this fine tradition of feeding and clothing the world.
Although farming has changed over the years, its history is strong in Robeson County. The Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair is one piece of the tradition of agriculture. On Sept. 28, we will be cutting the ribbon on the 66th annual county fair. Help us celebrate agriculture in Robeson County by attending.
Of course, there will be food, rides and lots of fun, but that is just a small part of the fair. Beginning Sept. 29 in the livestock building, people can see a variety of 4-H livestock shows. Youth from more than 20 counties participate in these events each year. They take pride in showing the animals they have raised.
There are two types of animal show competitions — showmanship, where youths are judged on their abilities, and market shows, where the animal is judged for a variety of things.
What really makes these shows something special is the smile on the faces of young people as they show their animals, and take pride in all the hard work they have done throughout the year.
There are also educational displays, such as the Robeson County Beekeepers Association booth. They have fresh honey and bees to show you through a screened display. Also, the Robeson County Master Gardeners will have an educational display and will be happy to answer your gardening questions.
In the home exhibits area there will be a display of the various crops grown in Robeson County, canning entries with colorful examples of food preservation and tractors.
The fair will also feature an Old Timey Fair complete with a corn-husking competition, a pedal tractor race and a pie-eating contest.
The list of how we celebrate agriculture at the fair is long and varied. To learn more about the different events and agricultural activities, check out their website at www.robesoncountyfair.com. To learn more about agriculture in Robeson County, feel free to stop by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension booth at the fair. If you would like to know more about 4-H, visit our educational booths or stop by the livestock building, and we will be happy to give you more information.
For information, contact Shea Ann DeJarnette, Extension 4-H Youth Development agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 910-671-3276, by email at Shea_Ann_DeJarnette@ncsu.edu or visit our website at http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu.