A Teen with A Fair Job

The Albemarle County Fair is a summer favorite for local kids. For one teen, it's about much more than the rides and cotton candy. Jeff Shifflett, 15, is a dedicated participant and volunteer who, "more than any other young person knows what makes the fair tick," said Bertha Durbin, Albemarle County Fair Vice-President. "I consider him the future of our fair," she added.

Jeff's mother, Barbara, is a former fair president; so for Jeff, volunteering at the fair has been a part of growing up. "When I first started, I was just knee high to a steer, and I was limited to carrying whatever I could. Both of my brothers would show cattle, so I just watched and learned," Jeff said.

In the past couple of years, Jeff has been counted on to do whatever it takes to make the fair run smoothly. He's eager and hard-working, showing up early in the morning each day of set-up week and staying until well after dark. He helps build fences, sets up tents, gates and seating. And when it rains, as it has far too much in recent years, Jeff isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. He shovels gravel and lays down straw to keep the fair's walkways from getting too muddy.

Jeff's extensive volunteer work is in addition to his participation as a 4-H member raising and showing livestock. Last year, he also volunteered to raise the lamb that the club sells at the fair as a fundraiser. This year, he will be showing his third steer.

Jeff hopes other kids will get involved as volunteers at the fair, "for the fun and the experience of it all!"

For more information about volunteering or special fair events call 293-6396 or visit http://monticello.avenue.org/fair/

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