The New Jersey State Fair, the largest agricultural fair in the state, will have six barns of animals this year.
Throughout the week, fairgoers will find more than:
• 350 horses
• 230 dairy cows
• 220 goats
• 120 sheep
• 80 beef cattle
• 70 chickens, ducks and roosters
• 7 alpacas
Approximately 20 swine are also expected to be at the fair this year, but their attendance is weather permitting. Swine can’t sweat, so if the weather is too hot, pigs miss out on the barnyard fun.The larger animals are housed in pole barns, which are open on the sides. Fairgoers can get close to them, but are encouraged to refrain from putting their hands into the pens, as some animals are not as friendly as others. The people in the middle of the barns are the animals’ owners and handlers; ask them which animals are approachable, along with any other questions about them.
The animals are not just a display for fairgoers; most are competing in shows for their breeds throughout the week. The fair’s Livestock Pavilion is kept busy each day with for best of breed competitions. The people showing the animals will also competing in showmanship classes. Most animals on the grounds on any given day reflect the shows occurring that day. The pavilion is equipped with bleachers for those who want to watch the competition and judging process.
Horses can be seen in barns, and in shows and competitions throughout the week: from barrel racing to costume class.
In addition to the barns, fairgoers can find dairy cattle at the Milking Parlor, where farmers teach attendees about milk’s journey from cow to container. A milking schedule will be posted on the clock outside the parlor, and bleachers are available for the audience to sit and watch the farmers milk the cows.