Have you hugged a cow?
You can. Or at least your children can through a program run by the 4-H at the Columbiana County Fairgrounds.
A photograph from the 2010 4-H Field Day shows young children happily hugging a cow at the fairgrounds.
Sharen Cope, one of the directors at the Columbiana County Fair, said, “That’s the picture I want people to see.”
Cope and Julie Herron, the 4-H extension coordinator for the Columbiana County Cooperative Extension Office, are trying to expand the use of the extension office and the fair.
The field day at the fairgrounds this year will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 20. It already has a new name: 4-H Experience Day. Cope and Herron said the program’s goal is education.
If cow-hugging isn’t their idea of fun, kids can make posters about “pocket pets” or small pet animals that are exhibited at the fair. They also can pet horses and see beef cattle.
More than 300 children took part last year in the first effort. The program is aimed at students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
The Field Day program is free.
“Kids get out and see things they haven’t seen before,” Herron said.
Part of the program is designed to be hands-on, such as hugging the cow. Kids last year got ice cream at the dairy bar at the fairgrounds that came with an explanation of where ice cream comes from.
The experience at the fair- grounds may help children to decide whether they want to join 4-H.
Herron added, “[There’s also] a chance to milk a goat.”
People can make a reservation to go to the event by calling the extension office at 330-424-7291.