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Berkeley County Youth Fair starts Monday

August 02, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Kiya Cauffman, 13, is accustomed to the stares she receives when she leads her 4-H project into the Berkeley County Youth Fair.

After all, a llama may be a common sight in Peru, but in Berkeley County, the animal stands out among the steers, sheep, hogs and goats.

The 51st annual Berkeley County Youth Fair begins Monday and continues through Friday.

This will be the fourth year Cauffman has taken a llama to the fair as her 4-H project.

Cauffman is one of about 20 members of the Swan Pond 4-H Club.

"4-H just gives you a feeling of teamwork and togetherness," Cauffman said.

Two of the llamas were a Christmas gift from her parents to her and her sister, Kija, several years ago.

Their three llamas share a pen on the Cauffmans' 65-acre farm with the family's horses.

Cauffman will be taking the family's newest llama, 2-year-old Shana.

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Shana will be joining about 42 horses, 60 steers, 50 hogs, 74 goats, 65 sheep, 200 rabbits and 100 chickens as fair exhibits, said fair board president Bruce Linton.

The children who exhibit at the fair are members of 4-H clubs, Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Future Farmers of America and Future Homemakers of America, he said.

There will be more than 600 exhibits from local youths, from baked goods to photography to dairy cows, he said.

About 10,000 people attended the fair last year to ride the carnival rides, see the exhibits and attended the activities, he said.

Linton and dozens of others worked throughout the weekend to ready the fair grounds, from installing new showers for cleaning the animals to sweeping out the exhibit hall.

As Berkeley County has changed with farmland converted into housing developments, the number of young people exhibiting larger animals has decreased while the number of rabbits and chickens has increased, Linton said.

The smaller animals can be raised in back yards, he said. The projects help provide an understanding of how farm animals are raised.

Linton said the fair gives the youngsters a chance to show off their talents.

It also gives suburban dwellers a glimpse of farming, Linton said.

"It does introduce the general public to agriculture," Linton said.

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