Livestock shows return to State Fair of WV

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LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — Kids across Greenbrier County are hard at work getting ready to show their prized animals at the Livestock Show during the State Fair of West Virginia. Last year, the fair was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning all the hard work those kids put into preparing their animals for show had to wait another year.

Maggie Bartenslager shows goats at the fair. She said the cancellation was hard on everyone.

“It was really hard because we had already bought our projects, we were raising our projects to get ready for the State Fair, and feeding them, getting that stuff ready which is time consuming and expensive,” Bartenslager said.

Cousins Arabella Crookshanks and Samantha Holliday agree. They said getting their pigs and goats ready takes a lot of time, patience, responsibility, and money.

Before the pandemic, feed bags went for $13 a bag, now, they are up to $20. Even through the struggles, they said all of this work is rewarding.

“Definitely one of the things I enjoy most is working with the animals and watching other people be happy about it,” Holliday said.

“It’s really great,” Crookshanks said. “I personally love the animals. I love working with my goats and pigs every day. It’s something I enjoy.”

The girls said it takes multiple hours every day to ensure their animals are the perfect weight, have the correct amount of muscle, and are ready to show at the state fair.

While those shows are returning with the State Fair this year, people can expect some changes.

WVU Extension Agent for Greenbrier County, Josh Peplowski, said there will be precautions in the barn. For example, during show times, administrators will limit traffic in the barns to reduce congestion. Social distancing measures will also be put in place as kids line up to show their animals.

“There will be a little bit of a different aspect to it, but it’ll still be the same great fair experience,” Peplowski said.

The first part of the week will be the market animal shows, then the GMYLA shows, and the week will finish out with the Pure Bred Animal Shows.

For a full schedule, you can visit the State Fair website.

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