BENTON COUNTY, Ore. — The Benton County Fair and Rodeo kicks off Wednesday, which means hundreds of animals are headed to the fairgrounds to be entered in various judging events.
But this year, things are being handled a bit differently.
One change this year is each of the animals must be checked, before entering the fairgrounds.
“What we’ve done in the past with being more just Benton County and open class is they brought their animals in, we’ve done our inspection the next day, this year we’re trying something different we’re doing inspections as the animals are coming in,” said Scott Culver, vet inspection coordinator.
Oregon State University faculty, along with veterinary students, have to inspect each animal. And that gives the students hands-on experience.
“We just get practice handling them, examining them, looking for diseases that are pretty obvious,” said Rachel Hector, OSU veterinary student.
They focus primarily on contagious skin diseases in the hopes of catching them before it spreads to others.
“A lot of them are on the skin, like ring worm for example and that can actually, could be transmitted to humans, or the other way around from humans to animals, so we just want to make sure that that’s taken care of,” said Aurora Villarroel, OSO assistant professor.
And since the 4-H programs in Lane County didn’t have enough funding this year, many of their members headed to Benton County.
“We had about 150 youth members come up and about 50 adult volunteers come up, and we’re really excited to have them here in Benton County and they are so grateful to have a home,” said Carolyn Ashton, Benton County 4-H agent.
Meaning they’re now looking at an increase of more than 100 animals, compared to past years.
“We have had to rearrange how we are housing different, the pigs, the sheep, the goats, where they are housing for the 4-H part of it, we’ve also had to incorporate borrowing more pins from another fair to be able to house everybody here,” said Culver.
Although Lane County will be having a youth fair at the county fair, it won’t be a 4-H one.
“Our 4-H fair here really give the kids an opportunity to showcase the hard work that they’ve done all year on their projects,” said Ashton.
If you wanted to come check out the animals for yourself, the gates open Wednesday at noon at the Benton County Fairgrounds.