22-year OC Fair Veteran Extolls the Virtues of Centennial Farm Animals
As the Director of agriculture programs at the Orange County Fair, Evy Young supervises livestock, the Equestrian Center, and the Centennial Farm.
Young started as an exhibit representative in the year 2000 then became an exhibit supervisor and subsequently the director, which is her current position.
“It’s not your typical office job because there is a lot of outdoor activity involved,” she said. “I get to walk around our 3.5-acre farm. At Equestrian Center, I get to walk around our 7-acre facility. You get to meet so many people because so many want to work and partner with us.”
The Farm was created as an educational tool to help students learn about agriculture’s importance to everyday life along, including fruit and vegetable gardens, and livestock.
“I have a background in foods and nutrition,” Young told OrangeCountyLawyers.com. “At the time I joined the team, they were starting a program called Academics, for fourth through sixth graders focusing on nutrition. That’s how I came to be a full-time member of the farm team.”
Goats are her favorite farm animal. “A lot of people tend to favor piglets, but I love the goat kids,” Young said. “They’re just so playful and fun to watch.”
Although participants are not allowed to enter the animal pens, the public is permitted to visit the animals at Centennial Farm.
“We’re not a petting zoo, unfortunately, however because our animals were born here, or they’ve been here for many years, they’re so used to the public that they actually will go up to you and people are allowed to pet them,” Young said in an interview.
Young, who is originally from Guam, isn’t a farmer but her grandparents were.
“My grandparents were farmers in the Philippines, and I came out to California for school,” she said. “Growing up, we had a wonderful garden on the island of Guam where I lived and when I would visit my grandparents in the Philippines, they owned rice farms and they raised hogs, so this isn’t foreign territory for me.”
This year marks Young’s 22-year anniversary working the annual OC Fair in Costa Mesa, which begins on July 14, 2023 and continues through August 13, 2023.
“We just had some goat kids born,” she said. “We anticipate having three sows that will be having piglets during the summer fair. Our crops are also a highlight. We grow a variety of peppers and tomatoes, so they are always in full bloom at the Fair.”
In addition to piglets and goat kids, Centennial Farm tends to sheep, livestock, dairy goats, pygmy goats and llamas. During the Fair, the Farm provides a space for Future Farmers of America and 4-H students to stage a junior livestock auction.
“It’s a great way for the kids to showcase their animals and ultimately sell them,” Young added. “We also have open breeding shows.” But livestock, crops and farm animals are just one of the Fair’s many attractions.
On display at Heroes Hall this year is an exhibit called Armed Only with a Camera: World War II Photography of Stanley Troutman along with The Art of Music, an exhibit combining album covers and artwork located in the Huntington Beach Building.
OC Fair tickets & Carnival wristbands are available for online purchase. Children five years and younger can gain complimentary entry while general admission ranges from $9 to $15 depending on age.
There is also the Action Sports Arena and concerts by Dwight Yoakam, Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke, Midland, Chicago and Beck at three of the Fair’s performance venues. Daily admission, however, is restricted to 45,000 tickets and advance purchase of tickets is required.
What’s new this year is the Every Day Passport, which offers fairgoers access any day Wednesday through Sunday with no restrictions for a flat $60 fee however sales of Every Day Passport tickets are limited to 10,000.
“We’re so excited to launch our 2023 OC Fair ticket sales, especially our new Every Day Passport,” said OC Fair CEO Michele Richards. “There is no better way to celebrate friends, family and community than at the OC Fair and we can’t wait to welcome back our guests.”
Juliette Fairley covers legal topics for various publications including the Southern California Record, the Epoch Times and Pacer Monitor-News. Prior to discovering she had an ease and facility for law, Juliette lived in Orange County and Los Angeles where she pursued acting in television and film.