Hard-earned rewards

·3 min read

Sep. 5—GREENUP — The Greenup County Fair showcases all the county has to offer, from serious to competitive, from the fanciful to exhibitions, all with a slant on the things the county residents enjoy every day of the year. Horse shows, tractor shows, and even the demolition derby and the lawnmower races show just how competitive Greenup County can be, while the mullet contests and the greased pig contests show a lighter side of the same competitive nature that can still enjoy a good laugh.

Beyond the fun of carnival rides and festival food, the fair serves to reinforce and educate future generations on how important agriculture is, not only Greenup County, but the entire region as well. Local farmers and groups such as the 4H and FFA fill the fair stalls with examples of fresh produce and livestock, proving agriculture is alive and well. The livestock categories dominate the fair schedule, with young people from every district participating, learning and competing to see who will take home the trophies each year.

Remington Bartee, 11, took part in the Feeder Pig division. Bartee, who attends McKell Middle School, said it took a lot to get to the fair, including building an additional pen because the family already had one pig. A lot of feeding was required, though his show pig didn't eat a lot at the beginning, but that changed quickly, Bartee said.

"He was 24 pounds when we initially weighed him in," Bartee said. "But he weighed in at 45 pounds when we brought him to the fair about 7 weeks later."

The 4H student said his mother and father helped him some with the pig, but it was predominantly his responsibility. He has competed with rabbits for five years, and this year marks his second year with pigs.

"It's really fun." Bartee said, and he added he would recommend becoming part of the 4H to everyone.

Bailee Miller, 11, worked with steers at the Greenup County Fair. Also a McKell Middle School student, Miller said she has been involved in agriculture since she was about six or seven. Miller began with an animal that weighed about 100 pounds, but at the time of the fair it weighed around 1,000 pounds.

"You have to wash or at least rinse it every day," Miller said. "That's a lot of work because steers grow a lot of hair, and it takes a long time to blow dry all that hair."

"You have to feed them every morning and every evening," she added, saying that the steer would eat at least three scoops (at approximately a quart each) each day.

In spite of the hard work involved, Miller said she is looking forward to next year, and in fact already has her new steer.

"It's definitely a lot of fun," Miller said. "I had no clue about it until my dad introduced me to it. But once I started doing it, it became something I chose to do. You should try it."

Laynee Loan, a 17-year-old Greenup County High School FFA student, had multiple entries in the Greenup County Fair this year. She had two breeder ewes, a market lamb, and a feeder Pig. .

"My siblings and my family have shown animals their whole lives," Loan said. "And I have been involved since I was around six-years-old."

"I'm in the barn morning and night, before and after work. Literally every second I have is put into that barn." Loan said. "People don't really know how much work goes into it, but I enjoy it."

Loan's family, including her mother and uncle, are fair champions as well. But there is one family member that she said has had a tremendous impact on her both in agriculture and life in general, and that person is her grandmother Brinda Greene.

"She's literally my biggest supporter. All through the years she has been there for me, supporting me, and she never gave up on me," Laynee said. "If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be the person I am today."