In metro Grand Island, county fair remains important for farm families

The Kosmicki family of Cairo does not farm, but they are involved in 4-H and show animals at the county fair (NTV News)

At the Hall County Fair, livestock numbers may not be huge, but the opportunities are.

As Grand Island gets more urban, 4-H families say the county fair remains a vital link to agriculture.

4-H mom Becky Kosmicki of Cairo said, “We are seeing some declining numbers in livestock, which is a little sad for me to see, but we do have the opportunity to educate people when they come through.”

The Kosmicki kids bring a bunch of animals to the fair.

“Market broilers, bucket calves, rabbits,” just to name a few.

And while many kids at this fair come from family farms, many are like the Kosmickis, who do not make their living in agriculture, but still want their kids to have that experience.

Becky said, “We're huge believers in 4-H and what it has to offer youth, and opportunities that last a lifetime.”

12-year-old Rhett Kosmicki said, “You learn something, and those experiences last a lifetime.”

This family says technology can be a big distraction for kids, but caring for cows and chickens gives them a different perspective.

“They learn how to put an animal ahead of themselves, they don't get breakfast until the animals do and we treat our animals with a lot of dignity and respect and yet we know, in the end, they're food,” Becky said.

Some kids showing livestock at the Hall County Fair actually live in town, and keep animals at a friend’s farm.

Others have a small acreage with their favorites.

“Definitely goats (why?) because they're more mischievous than a rabbit,” said Dawson Kosmicki, 14.

While they compete for ribbons, they also connect with city kids who stop and ask questions, and share what they’ve done.

“Showing people our talent,” said eight-year-old Kade.

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