Exhibitor Handbook: Rules

New Exhibitor Handbook: 

Our New Exhibitor Handbook has , General Rules, Livestock Health Standards & Inspection, Biosecurity, Haul in, Camping, Parking etc.  PLEASE READ!

WCYF Mission Statement:

Dedicated to creating a positive and meaningful impact on youth and the community, while promoting agricultural education through hands on learning opportunities, fostering mentoring systems, encouraging personal growth, and instilling community values.

General Rules

1.The Whatcom County Youth Fair will have security on the grounds and will use every reasonable precaution in its power for the preservation and protection of persons, livestock, general entries, property on exhibition, but will not be responsible for loss or damage by theft, fire or otherwise. The owner of livestock exhibit(s) will be solely responsible for  any loss, injury, disease or damage done to or occasioned by or arisen from, any animal exhibited by him/her and will release the Whatcom County Youth Fair and Northwest Washington Fair & Events center from any liability from loss, damage or injury to livestock, fair patrons, or other property while such is on the grounds of the Northwest Washington Fair & Event Center. Should the Whatcom County Youth Fair or Northwest Washington Fair & Event Center file suit or action against any exhibitor on any cause, the exhibitor agrees to pay the Fair Association involved such reasonable sums, as attorney fees, as the court having jurisdiction of the case may determine.  Livestock exhibitors will at all times give necessary and personal attention to their stock and at the close of the Fair must take entire charge of and remove the same property.  No officer or employee of the Fair has the authority to suspend or change this rule.

 2.   Any Person knowingly violating any of the following rules of the Fair will thereby forfeit and may be barred from receiving any premium that may be awarded the them.

3.   Due to the fire regulations issued by the state Fire Marshal, no smoking will be permitted in the Fair Buildings or Barns.

4.   No one will be allowed to sleep in the Barns or Buildings.

5.   No alcoholic beverages will be allowed to be brought in by exhibitors or consumed in the exhibit buildings and/or barns.

6.   Food handlers and vendors must comply with state laws and local regulations pertaining to health certificates and health ordinances. They must be dressed in a neat and clean manner.  Food supplies must be pure and wholesome.  Concessionaires must confine themselves to assigned space.

7.   Only animals entered for competition are permitted except service animals accompanying persons with disabilities, i.e. dogs

8.   All Entry forms are also online at whatcomcountyyouthfair.org.  All entries are $15 per exhibitor and are nonrefundable once payment has been received.  NSF checks will be charged $35 which is what our bank charges us. 

9.   The management reserves the right to accept, reject entirely, or accept conditionally any entry or applications.

10.  Entries are open to any youth, ages 6 to 18, by Jan 1st of the current Year. Due to insurance liability, exhibitors must be 6+ years old.   Age limits may vary by class, so please see the class descriptions online for age requirements.  Any child eight years old and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for help and supervision.

11. All Feed/grain, grooming supplies and equipment, hay, feed/water pans and aisle cleaning items such as wheelbarrows, brooms, shovels, etc. must be provided by the exhibitor.

12.  Herdsmanship and Cleanup.  There will be herdsmanship contest between divisions so please keep your divisions clean.  Pens must be cleaned by exhibitor before leaving.  All divisions should be as clean as when they started. 

13. Food- Please Bring a sack lunch or money with your child.  There are concession stands open for use.  We do not eat in Barns! Superintendents will guide participants to designated eating areas.

Parking/Camping/Haul in

Camping is available from Whatcom County Youth Fair for $25 per night.  Please remit with entry fee.  All camping will be in Gate 8. 

Parking will be assigned at entry gates. 

Haul in Gate 3 will be our Main entry gate for general traffic.  Dairy & Beef unloading will be at Gate 2. All Divisions in Light Horse Barn will use gate 8.

There will be no parking north of the Light Horse Barn, this is walking area only.  Please park only in designated parking.

Awards & Premiums:

Exhibitors receive awards from the Whatcom County Youth Fair for the enhancement of their project in which they have entered.  If cash awards are given, please cash premium checks when you receive them.  They will not be reissued after June 30th of 2022. 


Superintendents shall have authority over all matters within their respective areas, subject to the Management.  Protest of decisions may be submitted to the Board whose decision is final.

Animal Welfare Policy:

We believe that every animal participating in activities of the Whatcom County Youth Fair shall at all times be provided proper care and management in the best interest of the animal’s welfare.  All animals and livestock shown, housed, or displayed shall receive care that is humane, healthful, stress free and consistent with public expectations and in compliance with state and federal laws.

Treatment of Livestock:

Mistreatment of animals will not be tolerated.  If such an occurrence happens, the exhibitor will be asked to leave, and all premiums will be forfeited.  Please see our Animal Care Policy for more information on our protocols and procedures for the proper care of animals on our grounds.

Public Law: Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992:

a.        Offense

Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce, or sues or causes to be used the mail or any facility in interstate or Foreign commerce for the purpose of causing physical disruption to the functioning of an animal enterprise: and intentionally cases physical disruption to the functioning of an animal enterprise by intentionally stealing, damaging, or causing the loss of, any property( including animals or records) used by the animal enterprise, and thereby causes economic damage exceeding $10,000 to that enterprise or conspires to do so; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year or both.

Top five Disease prevention Recommendations:

1.        Segregation: Prevent contact of your livestock with other animals.

2.        Restrict use of feed, equipment, and trailers to your animals and disinfect after each use.

3.        What happens at the fair, stays at the fair. This includes equipment (unless cleaned and disinfected), feed and bedding.

4.        Notify a veterinarian immediately if an animal becomes sick.

5.        Isolate animals returning home for thirty (30) days.


For information on exhibiting animals at WA Fairs, see our fair resources page at  https://agr.wa.gov/foodAnimal/AvianHealth/fais.aspx.

In State Poultry Exhibitor Requirements:

All chickens, exotic fowl and game birds must test negative for Pullorum-Typhoid within 90 days prior to exhibition.  Waterfowl, doves, and pigeons are exempt from this rule.  Exhibitors are exempt from this rule if they are members of NPIP, or within the 12 months, have purchased their show birds from a NPIP participating producer or a feed store that purchased their chicks from a NPIP participating producer. 

Zoonotic Diseases:

Please remember that E.Coli 0157H7, Salmonella, and other infections can be transmitted by contact with animals.  Children, seniors, and immune impaired persons are particularly susceptible.  Hand washing facilities should be available whenever human-animal or animal waste contact is possible and signage directing the public to those facilities needs to be visible. 

Diseases such as shiga toxin-producing E.coli and Salmonella be spread to people from contact with fair animals and their environment, even though animals appear healthy.  Fair managers have responsibilities under Washington State rules to help protect against the spread of disease.  Know the requirements on providing handwashing stations and posting educational signage at the animal exhibit areas.

Animal Health Standards and livestock inspection:

1.No animal from a quarantined area or premise may be permitted to enter the Fair or to show.

2 Fair Management, staff or veterinarian will inspect all classes of livestock and poultry including horses, pet animals, rabbits, fur bearing animals, pigeons, ducks, geese, & turkeys, etc. before they are exhibited to determine that the livestock and poultry show no clinical indications of contagious, infectious disease, and ectoparasites.

3.  Fair veterinarian will reject any animal with infectious or contagious diseases or ectoparasites.  Exhibitors should be made aware that ringworm, warts, pinkeye, strangles, contagious ecthyma, scabies, lice, mites, ticks and fleas fall into these categories.  The decision of the private fair veterinarian should be final on potentially infectious disease conditions to maintain a healthy show environment for all exhibitors.

4. Animals exhibiting disease symptoms during the course of the Fair should be rejected by the Fair Veterinarian and removed from the exhibit area.  The Fair Veterinarian’s professional decision as to the health status of an animal is final and shall be upheld by the Fair Management and Board of Directors.

5.  It is strongly recommended, but not required, that cattle be vaccinated in the current show year against respiratory diseases.

6. Clean cages, food, and water containers daily. Disinfect all equipment before entering the fair grounds.  Restrict direct contact between birds during the event and limit bird contact to essential personnel.

7. Observe birds daily for signs of avian influenza or other diseases and immediately report signs of illness to the designated exhibition veterinarian, poultry health inspector, or Youth Fair Manager.

8. Do not share equipment with other exhibitors.  If equipment must be shared, make sure it is cleaned and disinfected between uses.

9. Isolate any animals returning home from the fair for 30 days.

10. All Beef & Dairy animals must have night ties while tied in stalls.   All animals should be trained to handle in a public setting prior to fair.  Any animal that is not safe to handle will be asked to go home by Fair Management.  Neutered male animals are required except in rabbits, dogs & cats.  For Safety of all exhibitors No Horned animals will be allowed.


Exhibitors should use biosecurity measures before, during and after attending fairs to reduce the risk of disease transmissions.  Please see our Resources for Fairs website at https://agr.wa.gov/foodAnimal/AvianHealth/fais.aspx.

Biosecurity Checklist for Livestock Exhibitors:

Before and During the Fair:

·          Do not eat in the Barns! Designated eating areas will be directed by Building Superintendent. Wash your hands before eating.

·          Prohibit visitors to your animals and farm especially if they have traveled outside the country within the past week

·          Make sure all veterinary health inspections and certificates of veterinary inspection are current for all the animals you will take to the fair.

·          Follow the fair vaccination guidelines and give recommended vaccination at least 10 days before the event.

·          Disinfect all equipment, such as buckets, shovels, wheelbarrows, manure baskets, lead ropes, blankets, snares, clippers, scissors, brushes, showbox, and so forth before entering the fairgrounds.

·          Don’t share equipment with other exhibitors unless it has been cleaned and disinfected before and after use.

·          Avoid entering the pens/stalls and coming in contact with animals from other farms.  Contact the fair veterinarian or fair manager when animals are in need of attention.   If you must come in contact with animals other than your own, properly wash your hands and thoroughly clean and disinfect your boots and clothing before returning to your animals.

·          Eliminate traffic between exhibitors of different species, (especially sheep/goats and cattle).  If it is not possible to eliminate this traffic, change clothing and disinfect hands before handling a different species.

·          As much as possible, minimize feed and water changes from home to fair.

·          Keep unused equipment and feed bagged or covered to reduce the risk of contamination.

·          Vehicles and trailers used to transport animals to and from the fair should be well cleaned and disinfected, inside and out, between uses.

·          Do not mix species in the same trailer (especially sheep/goats and cattle).  Avoid Commercial haulers with multiple animals from multiple farms.

·          Clean and disinfect all items at the end of the fair before taking them home.

·          Properly dispose of unused bedding, hay, and feed after the fair.  Do not bring it home.

·          Minimize stress by keeping animals cool, well bedded, and comfortable.

·          Carefully consider whether exhibition animals should return home after the fair, and what risk that presents to other animals at home.

·          If an animal becomes ill in the exhibit, consult the Fair Manager and isolate the animal

After the Fair:

·          The safest way to transport your animals is in your own vehicle.  Do not haul animals from other farms.

·          Keep fair animals isolated from other animals and pets for at least thirty (30) days. 

·          Check these isolated animals every day for any signs of illness.

·          Care for isolated animals separately, then shower, change your clothes, and clean and disinfect your boots before going to other areas of the farm.

·          The person caring for animals at the fair should not perform animal-related chores at home.  If the same person must do both, chores at home should be done first.  Do not wear the same clothes, hats and chores to care for the animals at home and the fair animals.  Garments should be cleaned and disinfected between each trip to the fairgrounds and barn/pasture.  (It’s also a good idea to shower between trips.)

·          Horses taken to the fair should be isolated from livestock and pets for at least thirty (30) days after returning to the farm.  (Although horses don’t get many of the livestock diseases, they could carry disease back to the farm.)

·          Contact a veterinarian as soon as you see any unusual symptoms in any animals.  Many diseases can look similar to a foreign animal disease, only a veterinarian can tell for sure.

The above Fair biosecurity recommendations were provided by the Indiana Department of Agriculture and appeared in the January 2009 issue of the Ketch Pen.  Seibert D. Firkins L, Wallace D. Ernst M, Biosecurity Considerations When Exhibiting Animals, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  These biosecurity practices are a good idea no matter what disease might be of concern.  The goals are to keep every animal healthy and to safeguard the Washington Livestock industry.