Exhibitor handbooks available online, at select businesses

Kandin Shuler spends time with a Holstein named Rampage, during the 2016 Berrien County Youth Fair in Berrien Springs. BCYF exhibitor handbooks are now available online and at select businesses.

BERRIEN SPRINGS — Berrien County Youth Fair exhibitor handbooks are now available for pick up.

Books and entry forms can be picked up at the fair office in Berrien Springs, all Berrien County public libraries, the Berrien County 4-H office and can be viewed online at www.bcyf.com

Several Berrien County businesses have physical copies of the handbook, including Baroda City Mills in Baroda, Country Heritage Credit Union in Buchanan, Red & White Feed and Family Farm & Home in Benton Harbor, Tractor Supply Co. and Rural King in Niles, Watervliet Fruit Exchange in Watervliet, Siefert’s Farm Supply in Three Oaks, Tractor Supply Co. in Stevensville. Exhibitor handbooks contain information on how to exhibit, exhibitor rules, registration deadlines and a complete listing of all classes available.

Exhibitors must be 5 to 20 years old to exhibit all animals, including livestock and still exhibits – such as crafts, home economics and flowers. Age is determined as of Jan. 1 of 2019.

Online registration begins today. Once registered, exhibitors can return to the program and add more entries up until each entry deadline, with the exception of equine.

The exhibitor’s printed email confirmation will serve as the traditional yellow copy of the entry form and is required on entry day, just as the yellow copy of the traditional entry form is. The link for online entries can be found at www.bcyf.org.

Each exhibitor will receive an exhibitor season pass for free admission to the fair for the entire week. Each exhibit will be judged and given an A, B or C award. Exhibitors will receive a ribbon and monetary award that corresponds with the award.

Ribbons will be distributed when exhibits are picked up at the conclusion of the fair and premium checks can be picked up at the entry office on Aug. 17 from 2-5 p.m. or Aug. 18 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Registration deadlines

• Large animals (beef breeding, dairy, sheep, goats, swine, llamas/alpacas and equine) need to be registered by June 1.

• Small animals (rabbits, poultry, cats, dogs, pocket pets) need to be registered by July 1.

• Still exhibits (crafts, home economics, flowers, horticulture, variety classes) need to be registered by Aug. 1.

No entries will be accepted after the deadline. Entry forms can be turned in anytime from today until the appropriate deadline date.

Entry forms for equine and llama/alpaca are customized printed forms. Exhibitors will need to pick up these forms at the fair office in Berrien Springs. Llama/alpacas can be registered online, but equine must be registered with the customized printed form.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture tag number must be on the entry form when it is turned into the fair office by the June 1 deadline, so youth need to order their tags as soon as possible.

In addition to the USDA required ear tag, individuals registering market animals will also need to come to the fair office and pick up the BCYF ear tags for those animals.

BCYF ear tags must be in the animals’ ear by Aug. 1 or the entry will be disqualified.

The fair office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. A special drop box is located just outside the office doors and contains a supply of books and entry forms.

Completed entry forms may be left in the slot of the drop box, mailed to the Fair Office, P.O. Box 7, Berrien Springs, MI 49103, or hand delivered during office hours.

Early registration is encouraged so deadlines are not missed. Contact the office at 269-473-4251 by phone or at entry@bcyf.org by email with questions.

This year’s youth fair theme is “Country Nights and Carnival Lights.” The fair runs from Aug. 12-17.