Cathie Maine watches nearly every show at the Clark County Fair.
But it’s not the final outcome, the ribbons and trophies, that truly matter, she said.
“The friendships you make at the meetings, the fun things you do — that’s what it’s all about,” Maine said.
This marks Maine’s 25th year as adviser to Kountry Kids 4-H Club. With 88 members, it’s one of the largest 4-H club in Clark County.
Maine, who lives near South Vienna, started the club in 1991 when her kids were 4-H members. Now those kids are in their 30s, and she remains — even advising the kids of some of her former members.
Members of her club have raised all types of livestock, including a llama one year. During fair week, she can be found in the barns early in the morning, helping members wash and groom their animals and lending moral support.
Maine stresses respect and responsibility in her club, and she expects her members to appear and behave in the correct manner in the show ring.
“I want things done right,” said Maine, who is a member of the service staff of Littleton and Rue Funeral Home. The retired nurse also runs Maine’s Signs and Designs, a division of her husband’s company, Maine’s Inc.
Whatever happens at the fair, Maine has reason to celebrate. Her 63rd birthday falls on July 27, in the middle of fair week. But she already knows that she will miss that day’s steer show and half of the market goat show in order to watch a grandson show a dairy feeder in Union County.
Maine grew up on a dairy farm, and her grandparents took her to the fair every year as a child. Her grandmother entered preserves and pies.
“I’ve been a part of the Clark County Fair as long as I can remember,” Maine said.
Jamie Tuttle is Kountry Kids’ market hog adviser and was once a member herself of Maine’s club. Now her 9-year-old daughter, Josie, is part of Kountry Kids.
Maine is always ready to lend a hand when a kid needs help, said Tuttle, who lives near Enon. She wants members to do more than simply compete and the club has a focus on camaraderie.
Tuttle repeated the 4-H motto: “To make the best better.”
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