TROY — Troy Fair officials and members of the Troy Fair Open Dairy Show Committee have clarified rules and put extra measures in place to keep the safety of both humans and animals at center ring during the 2020 Troy Fair.
During a Troy Fair Open Dairy Show Committee meeting held at Alparon Park on Wednesday, Troy Fair Manager Jon Jenkins addressed a complaint that open show participants are not permitted to take animals outside of a designated area near the barns during the Troy Fair.
Jenkins explained that while participants are allowed to walk their cattle on Alparon Park grounds during the fair in order for the animals to be exercised and not have to remain in their stalls, the Troy Fair has had a rule for years that animals must remain in the designated area around the barns due to safety precautions and be exercised in areas such as the fair’s show ring.
Jenkins stated that the rule to keep animals in the livestock area was made according to a suggestion by the state and after he attended a state training that informed fair officials how to best keep fairgoers safe by restricting any possible spread of bacteria like e-coli.
Since the training, the Troy Fair has taken extra precaution and added many hand washing stations within the livestock area with instructions of how to properly wash hands after being around animals.
If animals are taken out of the livestock area that is heavily equipped with hand washing stations, and especially if they are walked too near to food vendors, the fair becomes more prone to possible legal issues if a guest were to become sick, Jenkins stated.
Jenkins noted that the fair has not put the rule prohibiting animals outside of the designated livestock area in place to make difficulties for show participants, but to keep individuals safe.
“All this stuff, following the rules and explaining to your kids about following the rules...I know myself if I’m a guest in somebody’s house or farm, if they tell me to do something I’m going to do it, end of story,” he said.
Jenkins stated that the fair saw 52,000 guests enter the gates last year with “very minimal” issues and that officials are attempting to keep rules fair and consistent for all animal show participants.
While the rule that prohibits animals from being taken outside of the livestock area is already detailed in the open dairy show rulebook, a member of the committee suggested putting signs up that say “no animals beyond this point” at the end of the livestock area to ensure participants are aware of the guideline.
The Troy Fair Open Dairy Show Committee also updated their arbitration committee, which handles any issues that arise relating to the fair’s open dairy show.
The arbitration committee was instructed to appoint an individual or individuals that will be unknown except for by very few select officials and who will observe livestock show competitors during the fair to make sure the organization’s Code of Ethics is upheld by all after an unproven allegation was brought to the board that a participant used a tube to place water in cattle’s stomachs to make them appear more desirable to judges last year.
The committee stated that practices such as this are deemed unethical and if any Troy Fair livestock show participant is caught performing them they will be punished up to and including being banned from competing at the Troy Fair.
Troy Fair Dairy Show Committee members strongly condemned the use of unethical practices, stating that they will not tolerate them as they are looking out for the best interest of the animals and also do not wish for an untrue view of farming to be spread to the public.