Sweaty temperatures, seasonal allergies, restless school-aged children and busy public pools and libraries are telling us that it is indeed county fair time. Members of 4-H groups are gearing up and preparing their projects while vendors are reserving their spaces for another Leavenworth County Fair in Tonganoxie.

4-H is a youth development program, delivered in partnership with local volunteers and resources, K-State Research and Extension, Kansas State University and the larger National Cooperative Extension system, a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors. They are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Leavenworth County has nearly 400 active 4-H members this year. If you are hearing about 4-H for the first time, the program stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health with the 4-H pledge being, “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.”

The county fair is the stage to display the hard work they have invested throughout the year. Please be sure to stop inside the buildings to admire the 4-H exhibits as well as the barns to visit their livestock, poultry and rabbits.

County fairs and petting zoos are a great way for adults and kids to interact with animals. Unfortunately, these events sometimes get linked to illness. With our county fair around the corner, here are some reminders for fairgoers.

Before eating or drinking, always wash your hands. Know where to wash your hands and be aware of any portable hand-washing station or restroom. Food safety is an issue far and wide, but even more an issue when animals are present and hand washing stations lacking. Seek out one of the many restrooms on the fairgrounds prior to eating a funnel cake or corn dog.

For more information on this topic or others, please visit your local K-State Research and Extension – Leavenworth County office at 613 Holiday Plaza in Lansing, visit our website at www.leavenworth.ksu.edu or contact me at 913-364-5700. The K-State Research and Extension – Leavenworth County Office will be moving their office to the fairgrounds in Tonganoxie from July 26 through Aug. 2. For a complete schedule of the 2019 fair events, visit www.leavenworthcountyfair.com

Be sure to head over to Tonganoxie for the Leavenworth County Fair and enjoy the food, fun and 4-H exhibits.

Chelsi Myer is a family and consumer sciences agent for K-State Research and Extension – Leavenworth County.