Bacon Buddies® was developed in Iowa in 2019 after Kylee Brown, a then-high school student from Earlham, heard about a similar show in Wisconsin. Discussions among Brown and her classmates, the Iowa Pork Producers Association, the Iowa State Fair board, and Special Olympics of Iowa helped get the first such show at the fair the following year. Bacon Buddies® is a unique program that pairs Youth Mentors with Buddies (community members with intellectual or developmental disabilities) to show an animal at Fair. While organizations like 4-H and FFA are already inclusive, the Bacon Buddies® program allows participants to experience basic animal care and showing techniques without the longer-term commitment of traditional livestock exhibits.
In 2023, using the branding and guidelines set in place by Iowa Pork and grant funds from the Crook County Cultural Coalition, Crook County was the first fair Oregon to include a Bacon Buddies® show in the fair line-up. It included 9 participants (three Buddies and six 4-H Youth Mentors) and earned Crook County the "Youth Local Fair Supporter" from the Oregon Fair Association. The 2nd annual Bacon Buddies® program (Fair 2024) is expanding to include rabbits in addition to swine, and opening up Youth Mentor opportunities to FFA and Open Class exhibitors while continuing the initial partnership with 4-H.
If you or a loved one would benefit from the Bacon Buddies® program, please register to participate!
For more information, please contact Haley: email@example.com / (541) 447-6575