“Piggies!” squealed 18-month-old Aylie Haubner of Columbia, pointing at two black and white swine before climbing atop a small green tractor, pedaling only a few feet, scaling down and rushing over to a cage of turkeys.
Aylie made her first visit to the Boone County Fair on Wednesday, toddling around the Children’s Barnyard to introduce herself to the dozens of farm animals on hand.
“She loves animals,” said Ashley Haubner, her mother.
The 100-degree heat didn’t seem to stop people from enjoying the third day of the fair. Cows, goats, turkeys, chickens, ducks and a potbelly pig filled the Children’s Barnyard, a tent sponsored by the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
A sawhorse with rubber cow udders attracted the attention of children and adults. Fairgoers tried their luck at squeezing water into buckets, like a farmer would milk a cow, with differing levels of success.
Matt Pemberton of Hallsville and his 3-year-old son Lucas came to the fair specifically for the Children’s Barnyard.
“He loves seeing the turkeys,” Pemberton said. “And we’ll probably spend a good amount of time over by that soybean display.”
Lucas couldn’t seem to get enough of the animals as he made several laps around the circle, looking closely at each one.
Joyce Langendoerfer of Columbia said she and her daughter Stephanie come to the fair every year and usually visit the Children’s Barnyard. Stephanie’s favorite animal is the potbelly pig.
“I like her because she’s lazy,” Stephanie said.
“A lot like her,” Langendoerfer said of her daughter, with a laugh.
Langendoerfer said she enjoys seeing the animals and displays but prefers the air-conditioned Multipurpose Room, which hosted the Miss Boone County Queen Contest on Monday.
“I like that building because of the arts and crafts stuff,” she said. “And it’s a lot cooler in there.”