Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

UDAF Veterinarians Play an Important Role at the Utah State Fair

Farm animals are always a big attraction at the Utah State Fair. People want to see healthy animals young and older. But for that to happen, the animals’ owners, handlers and UDAF veterinarians all must play a role. UDAF has a consistent veterinary presence for the full 10-day run of the fair.

“Our responsibilities are to oversee the health of animals during the fair.  Many of the individuals at the fair are from out of state and therefore an overview of their animal's health during their stay here is critical to our animal industry,” said Dr. Chris Crnich, UDAF veterinarian. Animal welfare and humane treatment factor into the oversight of the animal components of the fair, Crnich said.

“On the Thursday of the Junior Livestock sale, our staff will examine each of the animals coming to the fair prior to their weigh-in.  Our presence and inspections assist and educate the livestock owners maintain a healthy and viable livestock community as well as having a successful show and sale at the Fair.”

The UDAF also participates in the Barnyard Friends area at the fair. “We are committed to having a safe and unique experience for all those that attend the Barnyard Friends display,” Crnich added.  “Oversight of the animals there is certainly part of our daily visits for health and welfare issues.”

Yesterday there was a real concern with one of the calves in the Barnyard Friends area. While the issue turned out to be minor, the calf was slightly bloated, having Dr. Crnich there to diagnose any potential problem was a relief to the State Fair staff as well as the Barnyard Friends coordinators.

UDAF also helps create the educational materials for the Barnyard Friends area. This year the department contributed a display about safe food handling, and the UDAF facilitated having the veterinary emergency trailer at the fair. ” We assist the veterinary volunteers that are at the trailer to help maintain an attractive and educational display of the emergency trailer.”