Carol I. Eyster, Wetumka
My friend from Canada and I attended the Ada fair at the agricultural center on Thursday, Aug. 29.
Our first stop was the poultry and rabbit barn. The noon temperature was above 90 degrees. As we looked at the varieties of poultry, I noticed many of the birds were picking inside small cups in the corner of the cages. The containers were insufficient size for watering fowl for an extended time. It soon became evident that most of the birds and rabbits had no water and were stressed. Lack of water can be a life and death issue.
There were a few young 4-H members with their parents caring for a few of the animals.
I approached two men in the middle of the barn and I asked why the animals had no water. The one said that was the responsibility of the owners in a surly voice.
Where were the 4-H advisers or parents? How could young 4-H members get to the fair to care for their animals? When did the animals arrive? Don't adults respond to health and safety issues of animals? These were the questions I asked myself as a former farm youth, 4-H member and leader.
In Ohio, I was a 4-H member for 10 years and learned early on the farm that water was essential to staying alive. We were taught to give an animal water if someone was not caring for their animals.
The parents, advisors and fair board members should be aware of the PR they are projecting to the public is not positive. Health and safety issues should be a paramount concern for supporters of the fair.