Gogebic County Fair hosts new 'commodity carnival' activity
IRONWOOD - A new game, the "commodity carnival", was available at the Gogebic County Fair this past weekend.
The activity is designed to walk fairgoers through the steps of bringing steer and cattle to market.
"It's a great way to introduce kids to how they get food on the table," Gogebic County 4-H coordinator Anne Newcombe said.
As part of the activity, participants are given an empty egg and encouraged to fill it with small stones and "feed," to reach a specific weight. The stones represented health, facilities, wages and transportation.
Once the player's ideal weight is reached, a token is released into a Plinko-style board to represent other extraneous factors that may affect the steer's selling price in the market.
According to Newcombe, many things can come into play, with many being outside the person's control.
"There's all kinds of things that come into play," Newcombe said, "There may be a lot of animals on the market that day or there may have been a recent spike in gas or crop costs."
Players able to "break even" after selling their steer received a blue ribbon. However, all participants received a prize.
The overall goal of the event was to show a new side of bringing animals at the fair.
"For the volunteers, this is common sense; they know how to raise an animal and bring it to market," Newcombe said. "For a lot of fairgoers, they have no idea what it takes."
More than one hundred people participated in the activity over the weekend.
"It seemed very popular," Newcombe said.
The activity is sponsored by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group and Michigan 4-H Club.
This is the second year the partnership has brought the commodity carnival to 120 state and county fairs during the summer.