178th annual Genesee County Fair shines spotlight on local ag community

BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Fair season is in full swing in Western New York, and this week you can enjoy the affordable family fun at the Genesee County Fair in Batavia.

The 178th annual fair opened Monday and runs through Saturday, July 22. Admission to the fairgrounds is only $5/car load of people. Tickets for the Midway and Grandstand events, like the demolition derby and stock car racing, are sold separately.

MORE | Click here for full ticket information and pricing.

This year’s fair features all of the usual attractions, from the rides to the unique fried foods you can only find in a setting like this. The real focus, however, is on the agricultural traditions that have kept the fair going strong for so many years. “We are agricultural based. We have 700 animals here. It’s based around the kids and the animals, and that’s what we like to keep it,” said Scott Adams, the president of the Genesee County Agricultural Society, which puts on the fair every year.

Many of the kids involved in the fair are here as 4-H Club members and exhibitors. They tell News 4 it’s an important opportunity to help connect people who live in urban atmospheres like Buffalo and Rochester with the rural environment, and educate everyone about where their food actually comes from. “There’s like a lot of farms and a lot of people eat things that grown on a farm or produced on a farm like beef cattle and pork and pigs,” said Cole Carlson, 16, who is showing his beef cattle and swine at the fair this week.

MORE | Click here to see the daily schedule for the fair.

All of the exhibitors have been busy getting their animals groomed and ready to show. They do all the work to raise the animals throughout the year and bring them to the fair to see how they measure up.  “I’m showing the beef cow because I really like it and it’s a lot of fun and I’m showing the pigs because you can make quite a bit of money,” Carlson laughed.

The animals that take top prizes in the show ring can go for top dollar during the livestock auction Thursday evening. The exhibitors can reinvest their earnings in their livestock and in themselves. “I always sell two lambs. One lamb either goes to my college fund or to help raise my next lamb. The other one, I donate to a charity I pick that year,” said 12-year-old sheep exhibitor Madelynn Pimm.

Pimm and the other 4-H club members have put a lot of their auction earnings back into the fair, helping to pay for things like new animal pens and new rubber pellets that cover the ground in the show ring.

“They’ve just done a lot of upgrades to the buildings to make them look a lot more presentable,” Adams said.

The fair has also continued to make its own upgrades, including investing in a large facility for draft show horses. This is one of the few places left in New York State where you can catch a draft horse show.

If you’d like to see any of the shows or enjoy any of the other offerings at the fair this year, you can find full information on the fair website: http://gcfair.com/

News 4 spent Tuesday morning at the Genesee County Fair as day two got underway. Watch the videos below to see our Wake Up coverage.

APP USERS | Click here to enable video playback.

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