Christine Bredenkamp

It’s almost that time of year again. That’s right, you guessed it, it’s almost fair time, noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17.

For most people this means a funnel cake and/or ice cream, maybe a caramel apple, walking around looking at the lights and animals and perhaps a ride or two on the fair rides, which are every parent’s worst nightmare.

For the kids in the Swain County 4-H Livestock Club those wonderful things that I just mentioned are just a side note. For these kids, the Swain County Fair Youth Livestock Shows will with all certainty be the highlight of the Fair. I mean, who doesn’t just love those soft overly fluffy cows led by a child that is only a fraction of its size? Not to mention the sheep, rabbits and chickens.

This year will mark the second year for our Fair Livestock Shows, which will showcase youth and their choice of either a chicken, rabbit, lamb or cow. The Swain County 4-H Livestock Club members have been hard at work for the better part of the year preparing themselves and their animals specifically for this and similar fairs in the area.

They have also been working on cutting and sewing and upcycling livestock feed bags into reusable totes to have for sale at the Fair this year as a fundraiser to help support their clubs activities for the coming year. Come out and support your local 4-H’ers and friends as they participate in the fair. If you aren’t an animal person, there are always the quilts, canned goods, clogging and amazing entertainment to choose from as well.

Artwork from Jackson County youth will be on display and judged. Those from Jackson County are also welcome to participate in the Livestock shows and other activities.

If you or a child is interested in participating in the livestock shows or any other Swain County Agricultural Fair competition, you can find more information and entry forms on the “Swain County Fair Agricultural Fair” page or on the Swain County Cooperative Extension website. You may also contact Kendra Fortner at the Jackson County Cooperative Extension Office at 586-4009, at the Swain County Cooperative Extension Office at 488-3848 or by email at

Kendra Fortner is extension agent, livestock, for Jackson and Swain counties.