The Ford County Fair is set to begin, July 18-22, and the upcoming livestock shows offer Ford County 4-Hers and FFA members the opportunity to showcase the animals they have raised and cared for all year; as well as the opportunity to educate the public on livestock care and the food chain.

Ford County 4-H members, ages seven to 19, along with Bucklin High School FFA members, committed themselves back in October to select, raise and care for animals as part of their project work.

This work will be on exhibit this week at the Ford County Fair.

"4-H livestock projects teach youth responsibility as well as give them an opportunity to learn about and be a part of the agriculture community that provides food and fiber to the world," said Ford County Extension Office in a news release. "Members enrolled in the livestock projects in Ford County work with project leaders, FFA advisors and Extension agents to learn how to properly care for and feed their animals."

The popular hand pet show will be the first show of the fair and will take place on Thursday evening beginning at 7 p.m.

This show will feature the youth of Ford County and their companion pets such as dogs, cats and aquatic pets.

The Ford County Fair livestock shows will kick off on Friday morning, with the 4-H/FFA Swine Show at 8 a.m.

Did you know that rabbits and chickens can be shown too?

The Open Class and 4-H Poultry and Rabbit Shows will begin at 11 a.m.

The Sheep Show will be held Friday evening at 5:30 p.m.

All shows will include a showmanship contest (where youth compete against one another on their ability to properly prepare their animal for the show as well as their ability to present the animal to the judge), market classes and breeding classes.

New to this year’s fair will be the Adult Showmanship Contest that will follow the sheep show.

If horses are more your speed, the 4-H Horse Show will be held on Saturday morning, July 20 beginning at 8 a.m.

Saturday evening, will be the goat show. The goat project is the largest livestock project in Ford County and is a fun event to watch.

The show starts at 6:30 p.m.

Beef will be the species of choice on Monday, July 22, with the 4-H Bucket Calf Show beginning at 5 p.m.

The bucket calf show is one of my favorite shows. The younger kids really do a great job with their animals and it starts them on a path of wanting to work with and own livestock.

The 4-H and FFA Beef Show will follow. The Round Robin (showmanship) competition will begin following the conclusion of the beef show and will have the best of the best showman competing against each other to see who will take home the title Round Robin Champion (top showman in all species) of this year’s Ford County Fair.

The 2019 Ford County Fair will end on Monday evening, July 22, with the 4-H/FFA Food and Livestock Premium Sale where the youth have the opportunity to sell their animals in a premium auction.

An appreciation meal for the buyers begins at 6 p.m. with the auction slated to start at 7:30 p.m.

Other animal activities during the Fair include the 4-H Pet Show on Thursday evening, July 18 beginning at 7 p.m.

Saturday morning, July 20 starting at 8 a.m. will be the 4-H Horse Show.

All of these events will take place at the Ford County Fairgrounds located at 901 W. Park Street.

A complete fair schedule is available online at www.fordcountyfairassn.org.