By Jacquie Russo
On Sept. 18, the Kern County Fair opened to Bakersfield residents. For many people, the fair means food, rides and fun. For agriculture students, the fair means is the start of many long and crazy days. That is certainly the case for 18-year-old Rae Brown and her family.
Life at the fair can be so time consuming and chaotic that the Brown family decided to bring their trailer to the fair instead of driving home and back multiple times each day. A Bakersfield College freshman, Brown raised a steer this year, the fifth animal she has shown in the past five years. In addition to three steer, she has shown two goats, twice winning first in the California Junior Livestock Association’s English Steer Division.
Brown’s favorite part of raising an animal is the “overall experience itself; showing it, getting that hands on activity that you’re not going to get doing anything else.” Brown also said there are “moments in time when we [agriculture students] are at barn duty, where we stay at the barn all day. That gets really boring. Then on show days it’s super hectic.”
For two weeks, those showing their animals have to get used to drastically changing environments and it’s almost necessary to have a trailer on the fairgrounds. For Rae’s sister, DeNae’ Brown, a CSUB senior theater and English major, a trailer at the fair is more of a luxury. DeNae’ said having a trailer there “was nice because you felt a lot less rushed, you could take your time and walk around…and then we could always go back to our trailer and sit and have a soda that we brought ourselves, that we did not have to pay four bucks for…and sit in the air conditioning.”
Many people love the fair and the excitement that surrounds the whole event, Rae finds that in the end that she too looks forward to the fair, as a year’s worth of work comes to a close. “Show days are really hectic and really long and stressful but in the end it’s worth it,” she said.
Even with all the work it takes, some students start at a young age. For example, 12-year-old Hannah Garcia is participating in her second fair. Hannah is showing a pig at the fair and she said she likes “hanging with the animal.” Hannah also won an Independent Swine Showmanship award this year. The work is very time consuming and even though she is not able to spend all her time on the rides like most kids her age, she is glad she does it and looks forward to raising another pig next year.
The fair is definitely an event that everyone can enjoy. For some, even the long hours are worth the effort.