|By CELESTE BAUMGARTNER
HAMILTON, Ohio — It wasn’t a blue ribbon, but Jonathon Tomlin was happy with it. He won eighth place showing a Light Brown Phoenix Bantam rooster.
And Tomlin created a lot of goodwill when he took his rooster out of the pen and allowed fair goers to pet it and get an up close look. This was his first year showing chickens. “Next year I would groom his tail more. You take a washcloth and keep brushing it,” he said.
The tail was the striking thing about this bantam rooster - it can grow to four feet in length. The rare breed is known for that.
“You get attention with a rare breed,” said Tomlin, who will show that breed again next year. “I bought it from my cousin he got it from a friend of a friend.”
And while ribbons are nice, they are not the most important aspect of the fair for the Tomlin family, according to Jonathon’s mom, Jenny. “The fair is family,” she said. “I think it’s good for the boys. They learn a lot and make new friends."
Jonathon’s brother, Jacob, who is a Clover Bud, entered a birdhouse and pencil holder that he made. Another brother, Jason, 13, showed ducks.
The family spent the better part of the week at the fair as did their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. It was carrying on a family tradition as most of the older generation had shown at the fair when they were young.
And they all brought items to include in the Garden Display Project put together by Jonathon’s grandparents, Mark and Barb Kiefer. It won Best of Show.
The Butler County Fair is a rural, family tradition carrying on in a rapidly developing county. Yet according to Julie Dalzell, OSU Extension, Youth Development, the livestock component is holding up well: about 300 hogs, more than 200 head of beef, 275 horses and 350 goats came to the 2006 fair.
This farm news was published in the August 9, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.