Jessika Fye, advisor to Lorain County’s 1st Class Kids & Kritters 4-H Club and a trustee for the Lorain County Farm Bureau, admits there are some tears on the last day of the Lorain County Fair, as club members part with the animals they’ve cared for during the last few months. Each will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

“You definitely see some sad kids,” Fye says. “But they go into the program knowing that their animals will have to be sold at the fair, and that they will make a profit from the sale. Many are already planning their project for next year.”

The students, ages 9 to 19, are members of 4-H’s Market Animal Projects program. Over the course of tending to their animals, which include hogs, chickens and dairy cattle, they’ve learned the basics of caring for them. Each participant keeps meticulous records that include height, weight and growth, which they hope leads to a successful sale.

“Learning about where your food comes from and how it’s taken care of is definitely a huge part of 4-H,” Fye says. “Kids who participate in Market Animal Projects understand that responsibility and make sure their consumers are receiving a quality product.”