It had probably been since the mid-90s that the sheep barn at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds had been renovated, said Barb Enyeart,
adviser for Trumbull’s Best Shepherds, the 4-H group that occupies the barn during the fair.
With the fair board undertaking large projects such as constructing a new restroom and pavilion, Trumbull’s Best Shepherds, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, sought and received permission to upgrade the barn, said group advisers Brenda Hall of Brookfield and Lorena Jones of Fowler.
The group raised money through candy bar and pepperoni roll sales, but also contacted potential donors.
“The kids do a great job getting donations throughout the year,” said Enyeart of Kinsman.
The funds raised and donations of material and money allowed for installing French drains to end stall flooding and get rid of the standing water outside the barn; replacing rotting stall posts; putting up siding; painting; and replacing the 4-H sign.
The group hopes to replace more stall posts and anchor them with concrete, replace gates and do more exterior work, with the goal of doing a little work every year so a lot of work does not have to be done at one time, advisers said.
“It’s good to know that the kids …” Jones said, “have something nice,” Hall said in finishing the sentence.
Hall’s 13-year-old son, Justin, said he appreciates the lack of standing water.
“I’m allergic to any stinging insect,” said Hall, who was showing two Hampshire-Suffolk lambs.
Donations included lumber from Tim’s Auto Body of Hubbard, drainage pipe from Galaxie Industrial Services of Poland; and siding from Mervin-Yoder-Infinity Construction.
Vicki Cooper of Highland Field Services, the company that operates two waste-water injection wells on Route 7 in Brookfield, stopped by July 9 for the ceremonial presentation of $5,000 to the cause.
“In general, our motto is to give back in the areas where we operate,” Cooper said.
Highland, and its parent company, Seneca Resources, like to promote agriculture, Cooper said. Although people don’t necessarily see the connection between natural gas and agriculture, affordable energy promotes agriculture, she said.
Hall noted Highland was active buying the group’s lambs at last year’s fair auction, and Cooper said the company plans to attend again this year.
Trumbull’s Best Shepherds has 19 members from ages 9 to 18, with 10 of them between the ages of 12 and 15.
Despite the name, it is a variety club, meaning kids also can undertake projects unrelated to sheep. Some raise other animals, while other members participated in welding, scrapbooking, art and sewing.
The fair runs through Sunday, July 14, at 880 Everett Hull Road, Cortland.