The annual preshow at the Manteca Unified school farm serves as a warm-up for students who show animals and other projects at the San Joaquin County Fair.
But with this year’s changes – the fair was switched from mid June to next month (Sept. 20 through 30) – the Ag Department is left having to make do with the adjustments.
The move also changed the dynamics at the school farm, according to Ag coordinator Ryan Costa.
“Our seniors (from last year) are graduated and off to college – they don’t want to come back,” he said on Tuesday. “Our current freshmen are still new to the program.”
He added, “The preshow and fair used to be a nice way to finish the school year.”
Saturday’s fair preshow will consist mostly of this year’s juniors and seniors. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., students will have a chance to show their pigs, sheep, goats, cows, turkeys, and rabbits, to name a few, at the free event at the school farm located directly behind the MUSD office complex, 2271 W. Louise Ave.
The preshow will feature a car show along with a silent auction, a plant / floral sale, and a farmer’s market featuring fresh produce from the district’s Veggie Express.
The car show is a first for the preshow, Costa said, with the various vintage cars being judged in three different categories.
Tri-tip sandwiches ($7) and hot dogs ($3) will also be available along with refreshments.
“We have more new attractions at the preshow,” Costa said. “We’re trying to raise awareness about the school farm.”
Included are new additions to the Ag facility.
The Ag Boosters have partnered with Tuff Boy Trailers to help support students with their fair-time endeavors.
One such way is the price-support system that will help students offset any cost to their animal project after the fair.
“It cost money for students to feed and raise a farm animal. Sometimes, they fall short of their goals (of earning a profit at the fair auction),” Costa said.
The Ag Boosters, in addition, offer a loan program.
“They can also take out a loan to purchase larger farm animals such as steer,” said Costa.
All proceeds from the preshow will benefit the boosters in their support of Ag Education.
For more information, call Costa at 209-456-4010.