New swine barn being erected at fairgrounds
STANDISH — A newer, larger barn that will be used primarily to house swine during the Arenac County Fair is under construction at the fairgrounds.
Bob Stein, fair board member, said the new barn is 18 by 60 feet and will have 60 pens installed when it is complete, making it about twice the size of the old barn, which only had 30 pens. Stein said the former swine barn was demolished.
“The other one was old and the floor was shot on the other one,” he said. “A pipeline broke underneath of it.”
Construction of the new barn was aided by a $2,000 grant from Globe Fire Sprinkler Corp. Overall, Stein said the project will cost approximately $34,000. He said community members can pitch in financially to help complete the project.
“We’re trying to raise money by selling pig pens,” he said. “You can get your name on a pig pen for $250. That’s how we’re raising money to finish it.”
The 4-H and FFA livestock club put $9,000 toward the construction cost, Stein said. He said a small percentage of the sales of fair animals if kept out and used to help maintain the facilities.
“If a kid sold a steer for $1,000, the club would keep $30,” he said.
Stein said the former swine barn served its purpose, but was not large enough to house the number of animals entered into the fair by area youth, as there were commonly more pigs than available pens.
“We had that much participation before and we had to put several pigs in a pen, and pigs are not stranger-friendly,” he said. “They fight.”
The larger barn will also be used to house lambs entered into the fair, Stein said.
“Ten pens are going to be for lambs,” he said. “We never had a nice place to keep lambs. It’s not just going to be a swine barn. It’s going to be a swine and lamb barn.”
Stein said the fair board has made many improvements and upgrades at the fairgrounds over the years, but the swine barn was one of the few facilities that were lagging behind.
The Arenac County Fair is scheduled for July 29-Aug. 2.