Editor's note: This is another installment in our series featuring members of 4-H preparing for the Wayne County Fair.
— It's all in the family for Sully and Sierra Rutledge.
This brother-sister act will once again be participating in the Wayne County Fair, representing the Tri-Gal 4-H Club of Damascus.
The Wayne County Fair runs Aug. 2-10 at the fairgrounds in Dyberry Township just north of Honesdale.
"This is one of the most important times of the year," said Sully. "We want to make sure we are ready. You have to be prepared. I am ready."
Sully has been involved in 4-H for the past eight years. For Sierra, this is year number seven.
Sully raises market hogs and market steers. He also does gardening, as does his sister.
They grow pumpkins, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers and other vegetables.
"We usually get blue ribbons," said Sully.
Sully has been entering hogs the entire time he has been in 4-H.
As for steers, he said he waited "until I got bigger" to handle those animals.
"Sometimes, it is hard," he said of handling the animals. "It's really hard with the pigs. Sometimes they cooperate ..."
Of the steers, Sully said they "have different attitudes," and that translates to figuring out how best to show the animals.
He also said they don't like the heat and he's hoping the heat wave has broken by the time the fair rolls around.
For Sierra, she raises pigs and does gardening.
Page 2 of 3 - Raising pigs has meant Sierra had to learn all aspects about the animals.
She cleans pens, makes sure they have food and water and in hot weather and has to keep a close watch on the swine. She pointed out that pigs don't sweat, meaning you have to keep the as cool and hydrated as possible.
Sully said he became interested in 4-H because his cousins were involved. He used to go the fair and spent a lot of time on his grandfather's farm
"I like being around animals," said Sully.
That meant 4-H was a natural fit and he's very happy he decided to join.
"It takes dedication," said Sully.
Not only do the 4-H projects take time, there are many other obligations. Sully is the current president of the Tri-Gal Club, meaning there is a lot of organizing. Tri-Gal boasts more than 30 members, the second-largest club in the county.
Members perform a lot of community service, including making Easter baskets for the elderly and doing roadside cleanups.
"It's fun to meet new people," he said.
It is also helping him shape the future.
Though he hasn't decided on a specific career, Sully said he wants "to do something with agriculture."
"It has influenced me," he said of 4-H.
For Sierra, she became interested because of her brother. She watched him show pigs at the fair and at the tender age of eight, decided she wanted to do it, as well.
"You get to meet new people," said Sierra.
She also said an important aspect of 4-H is helping out the younger members, something the older kids did for her.
Page 3 of 3 - "It's important," said Sierra. "If we didn't help, they would not know what they were doing and would not be enjoying 4-H as much."
Sierra said she really enjoys the experience of the Wayne County Fair. She spends all day, every day at the fair.
"I like to walk around and look at all of the things," she said. "And to support the other club members."
As for her 4-H experience, Sierra said she has learned a lot. Much of that is because she is also very involved in sports, including softball and basketball.
"It teaches you how to manage time," said Sierra.