Like many farm kids, avid swine showman Bailey Kemp is looking forward to the summer months of exhibiting at fairs across the state. However, this year she will be driving her hog around a different show ring, one she helped create.
Bailey is excited to be a part of the inaugural Callaway Youth Expo, which will be July 10-13. "It will be fun to have all the youth together," she says. "At the county fair, we would show on different schedules and we were housed in different barns. Now we will be all under one roof. I hope there will be a sense of community, where we all come together."
The theme of the expo is "Our County. Our Expo. Our Turn," signifying how involved the youth are in the planning and operation of the event. Previously, youth exhibited their livestock, 4-H and FFA projects at the Kingdom of Callaway Youth Fair. However, this year the youth division separated from the fair and relocated to the expo.
A sense of community
Parents and community youth supporters joined forces with the youth to oversee the logistics of a new expo. "It was a great opportunity for our youth to have ownership in their fair," expo executive committee member Chip Kemp says. "The youth created their own board and attend meetings. They have a say in what will go on at the expo."
He says the event builds leadership skills. Already, the youth board took responsibility for trash clean up, a buyer's dinner and t-shirt design.
While the expo will offer the traditional livestock events like showing cattle, hogs, sheep and goats, it will also allow individuals to exhibit rabbits, poultry and horses. There will be a livestock and ham sale. However, the event extends far beyond agriculture.