Interacting With Animal Husbands at the 2011 Mother Earth News Fair

Reader Contribution by Caleb D. Regan
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Day 1 at the 2011 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs Pennsylvania offered the chance to mingle with livestock, speak with animal owners, and listen to presentations from leaders in the animal husbandry world.

My own responsibilities, helping at the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy animal husbandry tent meant I was assembling poultry and rabbit cages, leading ponies to pens, and even in once case carrying a non-halterbroke sheep from a trailer to her pen about 50 yards away.

Some of the coolest things from this Fair, for me: talking with livestock owners of various animals, and even getting to know individual breeds; it offers one of the few chances in this business to have a direct interface with readers, and it’s refreshing to hear about their homes, gardens, farms, animals and lives; seeing speakers like Pat Foreman, Carol Ekarius, Harvey Ussery, and Joel Salatin, not to mention the presentations given by my own colleagues from Ogden Publications; a refreshing chance to get to know my own colleagues better, outside of our office cubicles.

This video was a quick interview with Anne Hallowell of Mercer County Pennsylvania. The Hallowells raise Classic Llamas, impressive multipurpose animals that perform well as guardian animals, companions, and most notably pack animals. I’d never seen a pack rig like this for a llama, and the idea of using this animal to pack up for a camping trip and then employ that animal to protect the campsite on that trip is pretty cool.

It’s inspiring to interact with fair-goers, exhibitors, and presenters alike.