The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Iron County Fair kicks off with entries


August 2, 2019

Bryan Hellios/Daily Globe

MAX NURSES from his mother, Teeny Tiny after being washed in preparation of the Iron County Fair's market day to be held on Saturday. Brodie Erickson, Teeny Tiny's owner, has spent many months raising the Hereford to show at the fair. "She's not so teeny tiny," he said with a grin.


Saxon - Tables were hosed off by the Saxon/Gurney fire department and animals bathed on Thursday in preparation for Iron County Fair.

Brock Swartz, vice president of the fair committee, said the fair is made possible by a collaboration of volunteers, children and local business owners.

"This is our big weekend," he said.

Forrest Movrich, from California, said his family is friends with the owners of a neighboring farm and was asked if he wanted to show an animal at the fair.

"I was like, ok, sure, I'll try it," he said.

Living in California doesn't allow him the opportunity to work with farm animals and he said he likes the openness and freedom in the country.

"I'm kinda stuck in the city, so I do what I can do," he said.

Movrich will be showing a calf named Ruby, one of twin Hereford cow calves, born in June on the Erickson family farm to Teeny Tiny. Tiny's other calf, Max, is also entered in the show.

"Ruby is about 80 pounds," said Farah Erickson, of the Erickson farm, adding that they welcome Movrich's help in the barn.

Teeny Tiny gained so much weight during her pregnancy she said that the Hereford had trouble making it through the barn door.

"She was just massive," Erickson said.

"Fitting" Teeny Tiny for Saturday's market day is a process that can take about 2 hours, she said, adding the animal needs to be washed and blow-dried so they look their best.

Erickson believes the work required to raise an animal for the fair instills a good work ethic in the children.

"We have the steers born on our farm," she said, "So they (the children) are working with them for 18 months and it teaches them responsibility."

Mackenzie Backman has been raising her pig, Irene, since she was just a piglet.

"I've been working with her a bunch and she is getting big" she said.

Backman is excited about market day where she hopes both Irene, and her steer Blane, score high marks.

"Their not the store bought stuff," she said, as she patted Irene on her rump.

Swartz said there is an art and science to raising animals for the fair.

"Each animal is different," he said. "They have different metabolisms - just like people.

The judges at the fair use a set of national guidelines to grade the animals so the owners take extra care to make sure their animal is in prime shape.

"We're trying to get that animal to that specification," he said, adding that it is a fun project.

Swartz said he hopes the weather is good for the weekend and is thankful for all the help from the community.

"All these people (setting up the fair) are unpaid," he said, adding "Everything looks great again up here this year."


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