There were chickens, goats and even a snake, but Thursday at the Vermont State Fair it was really all about the kids; a hands-on learning day free day for area schools.
Jim McKeon's goats were a real attention-grabber; one he hopes might spark long-term interest in an occupation he loves.
"I hope that maybe they'll take an interest and raise some goats for themselves. Get involved in 4-H or Girl Scout or Boy Scout project just to keep it going," McKeon said.
Maybe a little less educational, but no less entertaining for many, the pig race stole the show.
"You get to watch these big, huge, fat pigs just walk on the track and just stand there," said Donny Andronaco of the Benson Village School. "It's hilarious."
Thousands of kids filled the fairgrounds Thursday, but most other days, McKeon feels many fairgoers forget about the farm animals.
"Unfortunately it's turned pretty much commercial. And I'm not discrediting the fair officials or anything. It costs a lot of money to put this whole deal on," McKeon said.
But fair officials say bringing in all the rides is what keeps people's interest in agriculture going.
"It gives us monetary support for our agriculture because we are the Rutland County Agricultural Society that run the Vermont State Fair," said Charlie Brothers of the Vermont State Fair.
Brothers has been with the fair for decades. He says while there are more rides now, putting on free ag exhibits and providing feed and shelter has become expensive, though the fair does still turn a small profit.
"They don't pay to come in here," Brothers said. "We pay in premiums and award money, them. And just the hay and the feed alone is very, very expensive."
But at least for Thursday morning, the fairgoers were focused on its roots which haven't changed in 150 years.
"There's a place for everybody and I hope that some people choose farming because it's still a viable and proud occupation," McKeon said.
Sowing the seeds of farming's future with the youngest generation of Rutland county.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:06 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:06:03 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:45 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:45:20 GMT
State police are looking for the person responsible for stealing a school bus and taking it for a joyride in northern Vermont. Troopers say the 2014-model bus belonging Newport City Elementary SchoolMore >>
Police say the school bus belonging to the Newport City Elementary School was taken for a joy ride Friday night.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:10 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:10:53 GMT
A fatal accident in Lyndon Saturday. It happened around 2:30 Saturday afternoon on Route 122. Police say 76-year-old Gerda Blaszczyk of St. Johnsbury swerved to avoid an animal. Her car travelled up anMore >>
Police say the driver swerved to avoid an animal.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:03:45 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is touring the state this weekend with a special guest. Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings in Burlington, Brattleboro and Montpelier. TheMore >>
Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:56:03 GMT
Saturday marked a new beginning for Castleton State College students. "Were all gathered here, getting fired up, having a good time," explained Castleton graduate, David Carrier. The 500 graduates hadMore >>
It's graduation day for the class of 20-13 at Castleton State College. And just for the occasion, the college invited back an alumnus with a strong connection to the school.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:51 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:51:14 GMT
Young bikers were learning the rules of the road in South Burlington Saturday. Kids who brought their bikes to the Dorset St. Park received free checks for their brakes, chains, and tires. Helmets alsoMore >>
and much more... making sure kids are safe before they hit the roads this summer.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:49:26 GMT
On a sun-soaked Saturday, Karen Trayah and her dogs enjoyed the sights, sounds, and of course smells of a festival for fidos. "It's called Woofstock, however, this is our 1st year doing it here at theMore >>
Making sure our furry friends have a place to call home.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:54:10 GMT
The door to room 118 at the Liberty Inn and Suites is gone-- busted by police during an early morning drug raid. They say tenant Julie Herron, 41, was selling heroin out her room. She was living thereMore >>
A South Burlington drug bust exposed new abuses of the state's homeless voucher program. A couple was arrested for selling heroin out of their motel room, and police say the state was footing the bill for their stay.More >>