Meet the next generation of Pocono Mountains farmers and learn more about their 4H projects at the Wayne County Fair.
The sun was only just starting to come up when Mackenzie and Wyatt Weist got to the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Honesdale to tend to their cows. The brother and sister had already spent the entire week at the annual agricultural fair as part of 4H.
“We've been working up to this week for the whole year,” said Mackenzie. “These guys were born last May, April. So we’ve been working with them since the time they were born.”
The sheer amount of work these kids put into raising their prized animals is astounding. Every morning, up early feeding, cleaning and learning a legacy of agriculture.
“Usually we're up around 5:30 - 6 to go over and do barn chores. In the morning if feels like a lot of work but it's a lot of fun to do it with your family,” said Wyatt.
Wyatt and Mackenzie may have a few years left in 4H while Makayla and Matthew Stone of Stone Valley Farm in Hamlin are finishing their chapters and beginning new ones.
My passion started in 4H. My dad started us very young. The day I came home from the hospital he put me in a tractor it all unfolded from there,” said Makayla. “4H set me up for what I'll do the rest of my life.”
For Makayla, that means studying to be a large animal veterinarian. 4H and farming sparked that passion and now she and her brother are grateful for the experience of this fair, 4H and farming.
“The friends I made along the way,” said Matthew. “Winning is fun but the people you meet, the journey is , the journey is what it's all about.”
Winning is just what Matthew finished his 4H career doing. By the end of the Wayne County Fair, the kids parted ways with their animals at auction.
Bittersweet for them and an invaluable experience for the next generation of Wayne County farms and farmers.
“In 4H you learn how to help each other, and how to have good sportsmanship. So if you don’t win the class you don't get mad and cry you just say good job to whoever won, it's fun,” added Wyatt Weist.
“For me it's a big deal because somebody has to put the food on the table,” said Mackenzie, his sister. “Kids learn it and I’ve had a lot of kids came up and say they wanted to do it, agriculture is dying, so younger kids involved would make it better.”
These traditions are a part of the Agrolegacy of Wayne County and the northern Poconos. Watch for more stories soon on Pocono Television Network about the farms and farmers who are working hard to keep the industry alive.