BANGOR, Maine (WABI) "I have 10 total and I mean we take care of all of them every day."
For the past year, these kids from the Penobscot Livestock 4-H Club have been getting their hands dirty in preparation for fair season.
"13 of these kids ages 10 through 18. you know, you see them, they're up at 4:45 in the morning. They're on the wash rack. They're washing these animals. They are cleaning out their areas. They take pride in having healthy animals and working with them and keeping them happy because happy animals makes a happy kid."
Beef cows, dairy cows, and lambs will be brought into the ring to be auctioned off Friday at the Bangor State Fair.
For some of these kids, it may be hard to say goodbye to an animal they've been taking care of for so long.
"You get pretty close to them, but we know we can't get too close to them because we all know what's going to happen in the end."
For the kids competing, they say it's not just about learning how to take care of an animal but learning to take on a big responsibility."
"We get up early in the morning and wash them. All the animals get washed and then we do the bedding and we dry them and throughout the day, we either clip them or they get fed or walked, and we just do multiple things with them throughout the day."
These animals and their caregivers spend plenty of time together, so it's no surprise the bond is so strong.
Even though it may be coming to an end for this year, these kids know all their hard work will pay off in the end.
"They know that this is the end to this project and it's going to be sad to see them go, but the kids understand that process. they're really looking forward to be able to provide the buyer of that animal that quality product that they've been putting all that effort into."