Ag News

Georgia National Fairgoers witness miracle of birth

There’s no doubt the Georgia Grown Baby Barn has been the must-see sight at this year’s Georgia National Fair! Crowds have flocked to the new addition to the Georgia Grown Building to watch Holstein cows give birth to calves. Newborn piglets are also on display with their mama sows.

“This is a great experience for young people to witness live or by video,” Gov. Nathan Deal said of the Baby Barn while speaking at the Georgia National Fair opening ceremony. “It’s also a great experience for would-be fathers to experience. Watching an animal give birth teaches people compassion and empathy.”

Calf Fairchild was delivered in the barn before the fair officially opened Oct. 4, followed by twins, Cotton and Candy, Perry, Peaches, Rosie, Bullet, Stella, Georgia, Lilly,  Buttercup,  and Ferris. Fair goers watching the calves’ births suggested names for each calf.

Audience members then used their smart phones to vote for their favorite name. The person who suggested the winning name for each calf received a certificate from a veterinarian who helped with the delivery.

“Because of a great team effort, the public can come witness the miracle of life and meet agriculture,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said. “I’m convinced this is the best investment ever made by the taxpayers of Georgia. We’re going to see youngsters come see a calf born or baby pigs and maybe they will become the ones in the next generation motivated to grow our food and fiber.”

Livestock shows are also a big part of the fair with 4-H and FFA members from across the state showing goats, sheep, dairy and beef cattle during the event. Georgia Farm Bureau is also the premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter for the 2018/19 show season. GFB provided all registered livestock exhibitors with a free t-shirt to honor the hard work they did to prepare their animals for the shows.

Sunny, warm weather gave the fair a strong opening weekend before Hurricane Michael necessitated the GNF to close the fair for Oct. 10 after Gov. Deal issued a state of emergency  for Houston County. At press time the fair is scheduled to reopen Oct. 11 after roads and the area have been deemed safe. The fair has rescheduled the free Peabo Bryson concert for Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Reaves Arena with gate admission. An additional armband day has been added for Oct. 12 all day. Armband ride tickets are $20 available on the midway.

Nice weather is expected for the fair’s closing weekend, so, make plans to attend if your schedule allows. Events scheduled for the weekend include a live auction Oct. 13 featuring 2018 World Champion Livestock Auctioneer Jared Miller. The auction, set for 1 p.m. in the Georgia Grown Building, will benefit the Georgia 4-H and FFA Foundations.