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Preparing Animals For The State Fair
"I've probably been trimming like that since I was 11. So I'm pretty set in my way now," said Jason Mumm from While Heath, IL.
It's this sheep's first trim since arriving at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
"Then we usually trim a second time to get ready for the show. It takes a good hour per sheep to trim them, so that's two hours for each one, so it takes a lot of time. We have 17 of them to do."
Jason Mumm and his family have spent their summer showing sheep at county fairs. But now, they're at the event they've long been waiting for.
"Gives you the chance to show with the best in the state. Compare your animals to other peoples," Mumm said.
"Well, we have to feed them twice a day and make sure they have water and make sure their pens are clean," said Payton Bowman from Siota, IL. And Bowman also has to make sure her pig is clean. he gets washed down with both shampoo and conditioner every day.
Kelley Koester's six cattle even receive the same care she does.
"They use the same conditioner I do, and then they have special hairsprays that we use, adhesives, and we have to blow their hair dry after we wash them," Koester said. "And then before the shows, we'll glue their tails and get them all prettied up."
Which isn't easy to do.
"When we have them at the farm, we have to wash them before we bring them, and once we get them here, we wash them again, unload them, get them on the trailer, get them off," said Emma Steward from Mason City.
You might even call these animals pampered, though this kind of life isn't always easy for them.
"They have the tendency to get a little temperamental too, once in a while," said Larry Hill, also from Mason City.
And the special treatment continues, even after the fair is over.
"We take really good car of these. Fans at home and they're always clean and strawed."