Monday night during the selection of the Indiana State Fair livestock grand champions, the Indiana 4-H program’s changes on drug testing were in plain view inside the coliseum. Hoosier Ag Today spoke with fair board president Stan Poe immediately following the event about the testing being done right after each species exited the Grand Drive ring.
“We’re going to test it and if you test positive you’re out,” he said. “Here at the Indiana State Fair we’re testing tonight (Monday) and we will have those results before the 23rd of August when we have our celebration award program. Anyone who tests positive through this show tonight will not be in that show.”
He said it is sad that measures like this must be taken, but Poe thinks it is an important step for Indiana.
“Those of us who serve on national animal health committees and places like that have made it a point that this must be cleaned up. The FDA and companies do a super job in getting products approved and we have label directions on every compound that comes out and is used in this country. But then we get into shows and some people really like to win and they start messing with this feed tags and that’s where we get in trouble.”
Now the hope is simply that emotions for winning 4-H’ers aren’t over an ultimate disqualification, but rather the highs and lows of winning on Grand Drive night then saying goodbye to their animal.
“It suddenly becomes a reality to some of these exhibitors that have worked a year, particularly all summer on a daily basis with these animals, whoa! This project is now complete.”
There were a lot of comments from judges and others Monday night about the quality of the livestock shows. Poe agreed.
“The quality of livestock here in Indiana and at the Indiana State Fair is top notch. These animals and these exhibitors can move on through here and go on to the national shows and place well, so we’re really proud of our industry in Indiana.”
He told HAT the fair is off to a very good start other than some issues with rain, but he hopes that’s out of the way and it’s clear sailing ahead for Indiana State Fair visitors.