WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There were a lot of hard working young people on the Eastern States Exposition grounds carrying on a time honored tradition, kids working with their animals.

There’s much to admire about these dedicated teenagers raised on a New England farm and committed to raising farm animals from a very early age. 22News learned that 4-H families go back generations.

Watching her sixteen-year-old son groom his heffer, Wendy Somerset from Worcester County proudly told 22News, her son is a sixth generation 4-H’er.

“It’s a way of life. If you’re raised in farming and agriculture, it’s in your blood, you can’t get away from it, You either have it and it gets to you. It’s a way of life.” Wendy Somerset

These teenagers spend years raising their farm animals, some of whom will be auctioned during the run of the Big E in late September.

Haley Ann Lynch of Southwick has a close relationship with the steer she’s raised since he was a calf. “He’s my best friend, he’s my best friend. Humans are not my friends. We do a lot together. I see him in the morning, I see him when I go to bed, we spend the weekends together. He lives at home with me.”

As experienced as these 4-H’ers have become, their parents, the previous generation of 4-H’ers are there to help as they continue a farm tradition that goes back centuries and will continue into the future at The Big E.