LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) — Well here’s a story you probably weren’t expecting to hear — what happens to all the feces left over from the animals at the Columbiana County Fair? It’s not the most glamorous job in the world but the animals don’t want to lay in it.
Animals are a lot like people, they each have their own personalities. While some are shy, others tend to be more ornery. But one thing they have in common with each other is when you got to go, you got to go.
“I am in charge of making sure all the daily manure is properly cleaned in all the pits,” said Columbiana County Fair Ex Officio Robin Houlette.
Yes, there are people who haul it away. It’s up to the owner of the animals to clean it up and move it to manure pits during the day. Then there are about five people who clean it up at about 11 p.m. every night.
It takes two to three hours to load up trucks and take them to Houlette’s farm.
“And I use about 50 to 60 percent of it for my fields and the other part, I make into compost,” said Houlette.
Seems logical. If you’ve ever been down to the Columbiana County Fair, you know there’s a lot of animals which means a lot of…well, you know.
“Close to 400 to 450 yards a night, which equates to about 15 dump truck loads a night,” said Houlette.
That’s 2,400 to 2,700 football fields. Between chickens, goats, pigs and cows that’s a lot of animals going number two.
“And they go through straw and wood chips like it’s going out of style at this fair,” said Houlette.
It’s not a job for someone with a weak stomach.
“When you’re a farmer and you’ve been around a farm all your life, smelling manure is just a daily thing that your smell buds, I guess, have gotten used to,” said Houlette.
But Houlette takes a positive approach to a rather unpleasant job.
“I call it recycling manure…so yeah, that’s what we do here,” said Houlette.