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Keith certifies livestock competition scales for county fair
Fair can now officially begin, animals arrive on Tuesday

Karl and Charlie certifying county fair scales 

Auditor Karl Keith & Weights and Measures inspector Charlie Richmond inspect a sheep scale

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     
Date: August 26, 2016       
Contact: Mike Brill

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith and his fellow Weights and Measures inspectors visited the Montgomery County Fairgrounds today to ensure the scales that will be used for livestock competitions next week are accurate.

Four scales were certified: one for sheep and goats, one for cows, one for hogs and one for small animals such as chickens, turkeys and rabbits.  The scales are now sealed as accurate and cannot be moved.  That means the fair can officially begin.  The animals will arrive on Tuesday, the day before the fair, and each will be weighed upon arrival.

The weight of the animals determines the class for competition.  After the competition is complete, the livestock is sold to the highest bidder—by the pound.    For this reason, the accurate weight is crucial to the judgment of the champion livestock and the amount of prize money the winner receives.

Farmers and 4-H members from across the county will come together next week at the fair to be judged on everything from cakes to cattle.  They will prepare all year for the fair, tending to their livestock, produce and other goods.  A lot of preparation goes into the fair that most don’t realize.  One of those areas is the certification of the scales that will be used to measure the livestock for competition. 

“Contestants often spend years raising their livestock for this moment, so it’s important for the scales to be accurate to correctly judge the winning animals,” said Keith.

The County Auditor has the responsibility of being the County Sealer and oversees the Weights and Measures department, which protects consumers by monitoring the commercial scales that can be found in grocery stores and other businesses.  The Weights and Measures department also checks non-commercial scales, such as those at the county fair.  They test over 2,000 scales a year.

Each year, the Auditor Keith presents awards to retailers who earn perfect scanning scores.

This year marks the 164th anniversary of the Montgomery County Fair.  The fair includes rides, concessions, competitions and performances and runs from August 31 through September 1. Officials are hoping for good weather and record attendance.  Regardless, one thing is for sure: a pound will weigh a pound at the Montgomery County Fair!