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4-H members to show, sell pigs and cattle at state fair

By Steven Mark

LAST UPDATED: 2:25 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Bridget Napier remembers when agriculture played a large role in life in Hawaii. But modern times, with television, computers, sports and other activities, have pushed farming mostly out of sight and out of mind.

The Hawaii State Fair and 4-H Livestock Competition, which will take place next weekend at Kualoa Ranch, hopes to remind people, particularly children, of the importance agriculture and of related career opportunities, said Napier, chairwoman of the event. "Kids think they need to get into business to make a living, but working in agriculture, you develop a lot of business skills," she said.

The 4-H Livestock Competition, which will feature animals from chickens to pigs and cattle, is an example. Raising them is not simply a matter of bringing in the heaviest or the nicest-looking animal. Youngsters raising cattle and pigs aim for a target weight. When the animal is auctioned, extra pounds do not bring extra money, so "basically, it's free meat," providing a lesson in efficiency, Napier said.

Hawaii State Fair and 4-H LiveStock Competition

» Where: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Highway

» When: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 9-10

» Cost: $5 adults, $3 children ages 3 to 5 ($2 discount with canned food item)

» Info: Call Halina Zaleski at 956-7594

The Hawaii State Farm Fair, which spotlights produce and agriculture, was initially canceled this year due to shakeups in the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, Napier said, leaving the local 4-H to run the livestock competition on its own. Napier decided that wasn't enough and started looking for places to stage the event, which has been held at Bishop Museum in previous years.

While the farm bureau is not a sponsor, it has provided Napier with all the information to put on the event, she said.

So there will be all the traditional educational and entertainment programs, like horse rides and a community market of isle-grown produce. The animals raised by 4-H members will be auctioned the evening of July 9.

There won't be carnival rides and games, since "people found having the rides was kind of a distraction," Napier said.

The real attraction, as always, will be the animals, even for those not planning to bid on a 400-pound pig or a 1,000-pound steer.

"The kids really like to have animals they can pet," Napier said.

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