Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

August Page

County Fairs and Care of Farm Animals


Most county fairs begin this month.

  • Contact your county Extension office for county fair dates and for information about special activities available to your students.

  • Learn about fairs and conduct your own classroom fair with "A Trip to the Animal Fair" (lesson and Power Point or Keynote presentation)

Healthy Farm Animals Mean Safe Food

The animal barn at the county fair is a good place to witness the excellent care given to animals grown for food. The basis of animal judging at the fair is to showcase animal health. Healthy animals produce healthy and high quality meat, milk, cheese and eggs. Professional livestock producers display their breeding stock at the fair alongside 4-H and FFA youth competing for prizes. The following guide explains the criteria used for judging healthy beef animals, swine and sheep.

Livestock Judging Guide for 4-H Members (Kansas State University)

Field Trip: Take a field trip to the animal barn at the county fair and have students use the criteria from the guide above to judge animals they see at the fair.

More Animal Agriculture Links

Oklahoma 4-H Literature Online

Sparkle: A Little Girl and Her Pig (movie)

Games: Barnyard Fun

Online OAITC Lessons on Animal Care

Writing Prompt: Visit your county fair or your local farmer's market, and write a blog describing what you saw.

Related Books

Easton, Patricia Harrison, and Herb Ferguson, A Week at the Fair: A County Celebration, Millbrook, 1995. (Grades PreK-1)

Detailed account of the care and judging of animals at a county fair, as told by a young 4-H'er showing her pig and the family's horse. Nice photographs and a great deal of text.

Harvard, Christian, Face to Face With the Chicken, Charlesbridge, 2003. (Grades 3-5)

Information about such things as pecking order, predators, chick hatching and more.

Patrick, Jean LS, and Alvis Upitis, Cows, Cats and Kids: A Veterinarian's Family at Work, Boyds Mills, 2003. (Grades 4-6)

During the day and a half covered in this photo-essay, Shea helps her father "pull" a calf (assist with a difficult birth, and Kendell spends a morning with him vaccinating calves.

Schindel, John, Busy Barnyard, Tricycle, 2006. (PreK)


Background Photo: Oklahoma Youth Expo, 2007, Courtesy of Oklahoma State University

August Page

Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom


Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is a program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.