By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
CAIRO — The Greene County Youth Fair celebrated kids’ achievements in agriculture and put their hard work and dedication on display.
The youth fair, held at Angelo Canna Town Park from Thursday to Sunday, showed off the work of more than a hundred kids and organizations from Greene County, Albany County and beyond.
The youth fair was started in 1949 when Alfred Partridge organized the original 4-H Club Fair in Ashland. His granddaughter, Kristen Freemann, brought her son Kody Freemann, 3, to see the fair Friday. It’s been a family tradition ever since that long ago fair Partridge started at the Sutton Hollow School.
“We come every year,” Freemann said. “When I was a kid, I showed cows here. My mom and her sisters and brothers all showed cows at the fair, and my brother and I did it as kids. Hopefully, when he is older, Kody will do it, too.”
It is gratifying to see the tradition continued all these decades later, Freemann said of what her grandfather started more than 70 years ago.
“It’s very important that kids show their achievements — agriculture and otherwise,” she said. “Agriculture was big here and now ag is coming back, so it’s great to see that kids are still involved and excited to do it.”
Kellan Kozloski, whose family owns Twilight Ridge Alpacas in Catskill, helps out on the farm and brought several of his alpacas to exhibit at the youth fair. He explained what he does for the alpacas.
“I scoop poop, help give out the hay and I feed them grain,” Kellan said. “I like giving them treats.”
His mom, Jessica Kozloski, said agriculture offers a lot of life lessons for youngsters.
“I think the kids learn responsibility, they learn about the life cycle of animals,” Kozloski said. “We had a baby born on the farm, we also had an animal die on our farm, so they learn about all aspects of farm life and they learn responsibility.”
In addition to showing animals — including cows, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and sheep — the youth fair had vendors selling food, clothing, jewelry and other items, and there were musical performances, animal shows, local not-for-profit organizations and more.
First responders like police, emergency workers and firefighters did demonstrations and explained safety and other features of their work.
Leilani Crowder, of Cairo, especially liked digging and playing in a large tub filled with dried corn.
“We come every year,” Leilani’s grandmother, Rosemarie Soto, said. “She makes new friends every time she comes, and of course she likes farming. Her favorite thing has been the corn pit — that’s what we call it. That is her favorite part, except for the animals and the food. And she really, really wants to raise chickens.”
James Wilson, 3, came to the youth fair for the first time with his uncle, Raekwon Hall. James hadn’t yet decided what his favorite exhibit or activity was at the fair
“This is my first time bringing him, but I’ve been here before,” Hall said. “We didn’t go everywhere yet so we are still trying to figure out what his favorite part is, but probably right here — he really likes the goats.”
Gabriella Ramundo, 3, of Gilboa, also liked the animals best, her two grandmothers said.
“Gabriella has been enjoying the fair — she really loves the animals,” said Kathy Ramundo. “She lives on a little farm, so for 3 years old, she knows about animals.”
For the Rummo family, including Olivia, 7, and Ben, 3, there was plenty to see.
“I like seeing the animals best,” Olivia said. “I like the cows the best.”
Ben also had his eye on some of the activities, like checking out the bounce house.
“My favorite was the bounce house, but I didn’t go in yet,” Ben said. “I also liked the dog show and the cows — one of them was super big.”
The Greene County Youth Fair opened Thursday and concluded Sunday.
Here are more scenes from this year’s Greene County Youth Fair: