Denair FFA members Tristan Haile and Kendra Womack may have been feeling the effects of the rising temperatures Friday as they went about their work of cleaning out the pig pens, but thanks to some new upgrades in the Stanislaus County Fair’s livestock area, the pigs and all the other animals had it made in the shade.
Turlock-based Associated Feed and Supply gifted the Fair with $250,000 that was used to upgrade the livestock and exhibit complex and has gone a long way toward improving the comfort of the animals shown during the fair’s 10-day run.
“We’ve increased the air flow, the wash areas and the capacity, and it’s all to raise the animal comfort level,” said John Mendes, the Fair’s livestock manager.
The upgrades included new and more powerful fans, new rabbit cages, sturdier pens, a new show ring and wash stations among other features. The livestock area has also been renamed the Associated Feed Livestock and Exhibits Complex.
“It’s a lot more comfortable in here now for the animals and us,” said Haile. “Pigs can overheat just like that, but having the fans blowing on them helps a lot.”
Haile and Womack, along with others showing pigs, help the animals stay cool by routinely misting them.
“It helps keep them cool, since they don’t sweat,” Womack said.
The new fans in the livestock area are designed to use less energy while circulating more air and they are positioned to blow directly over the animals.
“The better air circulation is a huge improvement,” said Hughson High FFA member Mark Borges, who is showing sheep. “It really helps the animals and the people exhibiting them stay cool.”