Chad Bartlett and his daughter Mackenzie Maka, 10, chat with their neighbors at their 100-year-old barn next to Chad's house in Twin Lake, Michigan. Chad left behind the city life for a farm, hoping to teach his children agricultural skills. “We lived in an apartment for a long time,” he said. “Back then, we had to go out to do things, because they really couldn’t go outside and play because there’s no area that was ours. Here, it gets our family active a lot more, because we’re outside doing stuff. We’re not in the house all the time.”
Mackenzie holds her sheep Gunter while her other sheep, Rosita, gets trimmed for the upcoming county fair. She named her sheep after characters in the movie Sing.
Chad and his children take turns riding a bucking barrel outside his house.
One-year-old Cole James watches his sister Mackenzie spread out wood shavings in the trailer outside their house before loading the animals for a county fair.
Chad lectures Mackenzie and her older brother, Harkin, after hearing a dispute between them while working on their animals at Chad's house. Mackenzie said Harkin's effort to help her was too involved. "I know that I have to try to do it on my own,” Mackenzie said. “If he did it all for me, then I’ll just expect that I want him to do it.”
Harkin crawls into the pigpen to clean.
The Bartlett family gathers around the dinner table to share pork tenderloin, quinoa and potatoes at their house.
Harkin leads his hog, Ace, to the show arena with his cane at Newaygo County Fair in Fremont, Michigan. Harkin, who is participating in 4-H for a second year, raised two hogs: Ace and Blizt.
Mackenzie waits for her turn to show her sheep Gunter in the show arena.
Harkin takes a fall after he was pushed by hogs in the show arena during the competition.
Chad consoles Mackenzie before showing her sheep Gunter in the arena. The fair marked the end of the children's project, but it also meant it would soon be time for them to say goodbye to the animals. "When something dies, it doesn’t come back,” Chad said. "These kids understand that there’s value in life."