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County Fair comrades

Sandy kids busy themselves with 4-H and FFA at the Clackamas County Fair


Three Sandy brothers have their hands full this week. Jacob Johnson, 18, and his two brothers, Benjamin, 11, and Daniel, 9, are spending their week showing several animals at the Clackamas County Fair in Canby.

The Johnsons, who have lived in Sandy all their lives, are showing sheep, goats, rabbits and cavies, or guinea pigs.

Jacob, who graduated last year, has been involved with the fair since kindergarten. He decided to get a rabbit his first year to show at the fair.

“I’ve always loved animals,” Jacob said. “And since we lived in town, a rabbit was the one thing I could get.”

Since acquiring more space, the family has added larger animals to their repertoire.

When he entered high school, Jacob got involved with Sandy Future Farmers of America. Although this is his last year with 4-H, Jacob said he will continue with FFA while he can.

Benjamin, who shows nearly as many animals as Jacob does, is still just showing through 4-H. And he chooses not to do presentations because he doesn’t like public speaking.

Tammy Johnson, the boys' mom, said Jacob was the same way when he started but has since expanded to give speeches and presentations at multiple events throughout the year. Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Jacob Johnson, 18, has been involved showing animals at the fair since he was in kindergarten.

After seeing his older brother get involved in showing livestock, Benjamin decided to follow suit.

Benjamin, who is home schooled, also enjoys the fair because he gets to hang out with other kids his age involved in 4-H.

“It’s a huge family reunion,” Tammy said.

She said she is fully supportive of the boys and their activities with the fair. “I really enjoy it,” she said. “I’ve seen what 4-H has done for (Jacob), so I’m glad that (Benjamin and Daniel) are doing it.”Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Benjamin Johnson, 11, and his favorite girl Carolina. Carolina and Max, who tried to steal the photographic spotlight, are boer goats.

Jacob said his sheep are his favorite animals to raise and show because they present more of a physical challenge in the ring. Also, he began working with sheep first, and he’s noticed that it takes more work for sheep to cooperate and trust you — unlike goats, which he said will like anyone — so the relationship means more to him.

Benjamin is the opposite; he said he feels that his favorites, his goats, are nicer than sheep. Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Daniel Johnson, 9, poses with his prized Dutch rabbit.

Daniel said he likes rabbits the best because “they’re awesome.”

The three brothers spent most of the day Monday getting ready for the week. Before the fair, they had to check in, make sure their animals had bedding and water and, before weigh-ins in the evening, animals that were scheduled to be shown Tuesday needed baths and blankets to keep them clean. Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Brothers Jacob, Benjamin and Daniel love participating in the Clackamas County Fair because they get to visit with peers who share their interests.

As a junior superintendent, Jacob also helps with the weigh-ins and anything else that needs to be done before the fair. Benjamin said he helps out.

True to their preferences, Jacob said he was most looking forward to the sheep showmanship event, while Benjamin was looking forward to goat showmanship. Daniel couldn’t wait to show his rabbit.