Fans and plenty of water helped participants survive the heat.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Friday's rain at the Columbiana County Fair was a welcome respite from the weeklong high heat and humidity.
Throughout the week, farmers lamented poor crop growth while junior fair participants struggled to find ways to beat the heat for themselves and their animals.
"Alfalfa and corn are really short and need rain badly," said Linda Cook. She and her husband, Ron, own Midway Crest Farm in Leetonia, milking about 60 head of Holsteins.
Keeping livestock and humans cool in high heat and humidity is a challenge, she said. Her husband, however, reported none of the cows had lost any milk production as a result of the heat.
"We have fans everywhere, in the [milking] parlor for us, the holding pen and the barn," she said.
"Corn isn't supposed to look like pineapple," said Lloyd Burt of Salem. "I have several friends who are raising corn, and they say it is terrible."
Burt's daughter Amy, 11, showed Holstein calves in the beef feeder class, and pigs. Preparing animals for show at the fair is hard work and the heat makes it even harder, she said.
"You have to wash them every day," she said.
In nearly every livestock barn Thursday, huge fans were circulating the hot air, livestock and their owners often situated strategically in front of them.
"When it's hot, I just try to sit around," said Tye Bogart, 15, of Hammondsville. He was taking a break from cleaning the steer barn.
In the sheep barn, a group of teen-agers bided their time between chores by playing cards.
Keeping animals cool: Nathan Burkhimer, 8, of Salineville offered advice on keeping sheep and goats cool at the fair. "You have to bring a fan," he said.
Craig Benner, 17, of Minerva showed dairy calves in the beef feeder class. His family owns Benner Farms, milking about 67 Holsteins. He said he was keeping the calves cool by washing them. He said the wheat and oat crop on his family's 600-acre farm was not doing well in hot, dry conditions.
Sara Stryffeler, 17, of Salem showed dairy calves in the beef feeder class and sheep.
"They should put a swimming pool here for us," she said.
After high temperatures all week long, Kayla Schneider's quarter horse, Pumpkin, didn't seem to mind standing in a light rain Friday. While Kayla waited for her turn to ride Pumpkin into the show ring, the horse dozed.
Kayla, 13, of Calcutta, said horses will work in the heat but it is important to cool them down after riding. She helps Pumpkin cool off further by hosing him down, she said.
Preparing to show her mini lop rabbit, King Tut, Friday, Ashton Unger, 9, of Columbiana explained that rabbits don't like hot weather very much.
"You freeze water in a plastic bottle and put that in their cage," she said. "They rub on it or lay against it to keep cool. If you don't have a plastic bottle, then you put ice cubes in their water dish."