Got Milk?

When I came in to work this morning, everything was great and peachy. However, after a few minutes in the vicinity, my stomach was tied up in knots and I felt the need to go back to my house and just sleep! The strangest feeling ever – and I had no idea why!

Today seemed like a typical Sunday…I clocked in, said hello to everyone I came across, turned on my computer and checked my email. Normal enough, right?

Well, it wasn’t until one of my coworkers reminded me of my goat-milking session with Stella (goat) that my blood rushed to my hands and feet and I almost fell off my seat!

You see, I love Farm animals, but I’ve always preferred to give them their space and let them carry on with their business.

Since I was worried about hurting the goat, I arrived to an hour earlier to talk to Sarah, the Goat Handler!

Here are a few things I learned from Sarah’s class:

  • A female goat (aka Doe) produces milk for their babies. Once the babies have been weaned, the mothers need to be milked 1-2 times per day in order to continue producing their milk for the next 10 months of the year.
  • The amount of milk produced depends on the size of the goat.
  • Temperature of the milk is typically above 100°F – which is body temperature.
  • Diet is high in protein — alfalfa hay should be available 24/7. This is what helps their regularity.
  • Diet also includes occasional grain mixture (aka goat candy), that includes barley, grains and sunflower seeds.
  • Sunflower seeds help produce sweeter tasting milk because of the additional fatty oils.
  • Takes about 5-8 minutes to do an average milking.
  • Goat milk is stored in mason jars in the freezer. Best if used within 30 days.
  • Goat milk can be used to make ice cream and goat cheese too.

***BONUS: Always be gentle when you’re milking a goat and NEVER pull on their teats!

It’s true what people say…Sunday is the best day to try something new. :-)  If you ever decide to milk a goat or a cow (same process), there is no better place than the LA County Fair!

Have you ever milked a goat (or a cow)?
Tell me about your experience in the comment section below. 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

First Round Of Animals Are Here!

You know Fair is a few days away when Sky Shivers, our resident cowboy and Livestock Superintendent, arrives to our grounds with the first round of Fair animals.

In this particular case, these goooats were the first ones to arrive! We have no idea how they beat the pigs, sheep and cows! Now that I think about it, the cows probably just stopped somewhere along the way to take a break and eat some grass. But not to worry, Sky said they will all be here in the next couple of days! We are so excited to welcome our friends to LACF!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Last Chance to #discoverLACF

With only one day left to visit LACF, I decided it was time to go on the grounds and talk to some guests about their top four things to do while at the Fair— also known as LACF’s Fantastic Four. Ready to have some fun? I hope so, because we are about to go over some of fair-comers’ all-time favorite things to enjoy.

4. The Farm: Our farm was recently expanded to 5 acres, which means we have a lot more things for you to enjoy! In addition to petting over 150 animals and learning how ice cream and butter are made, you could cheer pigs as they race to the finish line, learn about Zonkeys and Zorses, or catch a live birth. I’m not lying about the live births…just watch this!

3. Flower & Garden Pavilion: Can you think of anything at LACF that smells better than our Flower & Garden Pavilion? Didn’t think so. This year’s flowers and plants are absolutely breathtaking and unique. See for yourself.

2. Shopping: LACF is home to the largest shopping place in the West, hosting more than 1,000 booth spaces and offering tens of thousands of items. No wonder more than 75 percent of Fair attendees come to shop while at LACF. From everyday home appliances to automobiles and spas, we have it all.

1. Luminasia and Mojo’s Lagoon: This brand new and unique Chinese lantern exhibit features thousands of lights in an extraordinary display of engineering and larger than life characters. As you walk through the exhibit you will see dragons, pagodas, coral reefs, a replica of the Statue of Liberty, and so much more! If you need something to do before Luminasia opens its doors at 6 p.m., you could very well stop by Mojo’s Wild and Crazy Lagoon. Some of the exotic animals you will see include but are not limited to crocodiles, camels, zebras, hedgehogs, monkeys and snakes. Definitely worth the time and seeing your child smile.

Remember to use #discoverLACF when you stop by the Fair in the next few hours or tomorrow. Happy last two days!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

New animals at The Farm

For all animal lovers stopping by the Farm, you will be so surprised by what we have in store for you that we guarantee you will create long-lasting memories at this fun and educational experience.

There will be activities for people of all ages that include milking goats, seeing pig races, and potentially seeing a live animal birth! You name it, we have something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

As usual, our petting zoo will be a great opportunity for children and adults to pet over 150 animals. If you are feeling a little adventurous, purchase animal food and see animals race to you to be fed and pet! The smile on your child’s face will be a lasting memory you will never want to forget.

In addition to the petting zoo and our typical farm animals, this year’s Farm will introduce a new show highlighting two zebra hybrids: one zorse and one zonkey. Confused? Well, you shouldn’t be because you read correctly. You will learn more than you could possibly imagine about the historical upbringing of zorses and zonkeys. A zorse is derived from breeding a horse and a zebra together, while a zonkey is derived from a zebra and a donkey.

A Zorse (left) and a Zonkey (right)

The show will also highlight horses, mules and zebras. Many people are under the impression that there is only one type of a zebra, but that is not true. When you visit the Farm you will learn about the different breeds of zebras and their historical uses in Africa.

There will also be a new chicken show where guests will learn about the origin of these phenomenal animals, the oddness of some breeds, designer chickens, and egg production. Learning more about chickens will surely blow your mind away.

As if this was not enough, this year’s Farm will also host a new breed of sheep, known as the Royal White Sheep. This unique breed of sheep was developed in Texas and is not seen west of the Rockies, so it will be a real treat for our guests.

On top of seeing animals bred in other states, Max’s Barnyard Show will bring it back home by featuring animals seen roaming around your backyard such as chickens, rabbits, tarantulas, opossums, red foxes and California Kingsnakes.

Guests will also have the opportunity to see how ice cream, butter, and cream cheese can easily be made from milk at home. Who knows, you may decide to make your own milk-derived products after you absorb all of this new information.

And we could not possibly forget to mention the all-time Fair favorite pig races that will be held seven times a day, every day.

Ultimately, the number one goal of the LACF Farm is to entertain our guests and to remind them that agriculture is part of our daily lives! So, brace yourself to have the most fun you have ever had!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Creative Minds in Action

I know it’s only May, but preparations for each new Fair begin as soon as the Ferris Wheel makes its last revolution on the previous Fair’s final day. And for some departments, the wheels of creativity start spinning two years in advance. Our creative development department is responsible for the great exhibits, contests, competitions and awesome programming that entertain guests each year. Creative Development Director Kathy Wadham is like a walking Martha Stewart-HGTV-Rachael Ray-Farmer Joe cyclone all in one. There isn’t anything she can’t sew, paint, create, round-up or plant.  Kathy started down the path to creative diva as a young mom, with two kids in tow, and eventually captured the attention of the imaginative minds at Disney. Kathy has surrounded herself with an equally talented staff that can also sew, paint, create, round-up or plant just about anything. Designer Michael Converse once drew an amazing depiction of a spinosaurus gnawing on an herbivore for my dinosaur-loving son, all with a few quick strokes of a Bic pen. A Bic pen! Prior to joining the Fair as creative designer, Michael was creative director for Dinamation, makers of animated robotic dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. And before that he was an architectural illustrator. He said from a young age, he was always drawing – drawing, drawing, drawing (hear that you young artists? Practice, practice, practice). You get to see Michael’s creations in 3-D during the Fair. Rendering of Space Exhibit

Beth Richards can take a plain table and transform it into a wonderland of shape, texture and style. With an aesthetic sense and whimsical touch that always please the eye, Beth can conceive the most elegant tablescaping scene using green apples, various plates found in our basement and a straw basket.

And Sky Shivers – wow! With his Oklahoma drawl and tumbleweed mustache, Sky is a captivating presence at FairView Farms. He oversees all the animals at FVF and is a wealth of knowledge and a well of incredible stories. Raised among the blood-thirsty chiggers and persimmon thickets on the southern end of the Sooner state, Sky is billed as a western humorist/cowboy storyteller but he’s actually an agricultural lesson dressed in scrubby blue jeans and a straw hat. Who else do you know who gathered the “ol’ wife” and little daughters and took them on the ride of their lives – 11 months across part of America in a horse-drawn wagon train?  Sky regales visitors with the triumphs and trials of animals, Mother Nature, being a cowboy. Let him draw you over to his side of the fence for a whole ‘nother look at creation.

So, see, we’re not just pretty faces here at the L.A. County Fair. We back it up with some good creds. What “creations” of recent Fairs or Fairs of the past are your faves?

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather