CLINTWOOD — The sixth annual Dickenson County Extension Fair Saturday drew hundreds of kids and families for a day of fun and learning at the Coalfield Agriculture Center.
“We have a great opportunity here, and I would like to see it grow,” said Dickenson County Extension Agent Brad Mullins.
The goal of the extension fair, Mullins said, is to try to educate kids in the community about agriculture, and provide affordable entertainment as well.
The extension fair featured various activities and exhibits throughout the day designed to provided kids the opportunity to learn about local agriculture and have fun at very little to no expense.
Along with inflatables there were hay rides all day provided by Zeke Childress. The exhibits area was filled with agricultural and crafting entries from students and adults.
Several animals — like the popular Peppa the Pig — were on display for the public to see and pet throughout the day at McDonald’s Farm. The fair also featured the annual 4-H Pullet show, followed by an auction.
The Letcher County Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center returned for the second year with its raptor program, where the audience got to meet several different birds — such as owl, eagle, hawk and vulture — that have been rescued and cared for after injury. The birds that are not viable for release in the wild are used for public education programs, explained Mitch Whitaker, master falconer with Kentucky Cooperative Extension of Letcher County. Whitaker also taught kids about the survival skills of the wildlife they met.
The Farmer’s Market was also available for attendees, and included various prize-winning homemade items from community members. The Columbus-Phipps Foundation sponsored a program with the Farmer’s Market called “Healthy Bucks for Healthy Kids” where kids were given 5 dollars to spend at the Farmer’s Market on food of their choosing.
Landon Johnson of Lonesome Pine Soil and Water had a display of local aquatic life in several aquariums for the public to view.
The fair supported local crafters, local businesses and local food vendors. There were vendors with fresh and canned produce, hand-made jewelry, unique sewn items, and barn quilts.
This free annual event celebrates the agricultural contributions of Dickenson County and evolved from the Future Farmers of America fair that was held annually in the gym of Clintwood High School. Following the school consolidation, Dickenson County Extension partnered with the Ridgeview FFA Advisor Susan Wilder to ensure that the tradition lived on.
There were many agricultural exhibits on display in the education building that were brought in this year. Congratulations to the winners of the following divisions: Grand Champion Willetta Salyer of Clintwood, who won $75, and the Reserve Grand Champion Kim Stanley of Clintwood, who won $50. These cash prizes were sponsored by Wise/Dickenson Farm Bureau and Lonesome Pine Soil and Water. They earned the most points by accumulating ribbons with their wide variety of entries.
The 4-H/FFA Youth Member Grand Champion was Jordan Rose, he also won $50. The 4-H/FFA Youth Reserve Champion was Jeremiah Johnson, who won $25. The Youth Division was sponsored by the Dickenson County Community Partners Coalition for Prevention. Congratulations to Rhett Baker of Clintwood, who won the blue ribbon and a $50 gift card from Tractor Supply for his five beautiful 4-H pullets. The Reserve Champion was Abigail Wade.
Following the judging of the 4-H Pullet Project was a pullet auction.
The Coalfield Sheep Association, the Dickenson County Behavioral Health, and the Dickenson County Community Partners for Prevention Coalition were also on hand with a community resource booth.
Tiara Shaver, daughter of Terry and Sharon Shaver of Clintwood and a 4-H Share the Fun Champion, entertained with a special clogging performance.
Concessions were provided by Dickenson County 4-H Teen Leaders Association and Frost Bite.
The Dickenson County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension extends gratitude to everyone who worked to make this event possible. Community partners, volunteers, and sponsors make events possible. Thanks to Wise/Dickenson Farm Bureau, Lonesome Pine Soil and Water, Coalfield Cattle Association, Mitch Whitaker and Letcher County Kentucky Cooperative Extension, Triple Oak Farm, M & M Stables, Dickenson County Behavioral Health Services, and the Dickenson County Community Partners for Prevention Coalition.