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Senior Contributor

Re: The County Fair

I've been following this post but haven't had time to post-sorry so late.

   I never went to the fair as a town kid unless it was to compete in the talent show.  Even as an adult I took my dance students to compete & believe me, this is another animal entirely.  Another story.

   My kids on the other hand competed in 4-H and county with sheep & dairy.  The oldest son went to a lot of fairs & also state which I hate to say was pretty political.  (who you were went a long way up the line)  When he started in 4-H the sheep show lasted from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Now there are 2 competitors.  The county sheep show is bigger but they eliminated the Jr. Show to make the $$ pot bigger for the open show which inturn brought in more "professionals"  to show.  These competitors pay big money for animals and most of them aren't really farmers-this is a hobby they enjoy in their off time from their jobs.  Be that as it may, they also show in 4-H which doesn't leave the poor farm kid who works with his animal and can't afford more, left in the dust.

   Our county fair still does have dairy show which many have eliminated.  It's small but we usually have all breeds represented by at least one exhibitor; several competing with 2 or 3.

They have changed the days to be there due to the beef show pushing us around, Sandy.Smiley Wink  Dairy is there first, then beef. 

Dairy only has to be there 2 days/one night which is nice in a way but to us it was our vacation funtime.  The grandkids & DS would stay overnight with the animals & we'd take turns sitting & keeping the stalls clean.  Now we don't even have a place to sit & visit during the rest of the fair.  The family all feels cheated as you work so hard for training these animals & unless you show at other fairs it is a short fall.  Plus we no longer have the comraderie of the other exhibitors.  Also, so many people brought their families in to see the animals and with only beef or dairy they don't get the true farm picture of animals.  

 

It also seems that too many town folks are on the board & think the entertainment & carnival is more important than the livestock exhibits.  Sad.   

  

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Veteran Contributor

Re: The County Fair

Our county fair is held in the biggest town in the county. The largest newspaper also. Last year they had a reporter there the first night, photos of the carnival and the harness racing, but no reporters the rest of the fair. A little disappointing to the kids in all areas.

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Senior Contributor

Re: The County Fair

The reporter for the county newspaper always comes for the youth shows and takes pictures of the winners. The other major events nightly events are photographed too, but there is a section or two devoted to the county fair.  

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Senior Contributor

Re: The County Fair

Our local papers devote pages and pages and whole sections to the fair.  The kids get so excited to see their animals pictured in the paper.  I do enjoy it even though I don't know who the kids are now that ours are all grown up. 

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Highlighted
fleming4716
Visitor

Re: The County Fair

Let me explain ways in which the county fair has become a critical part of our family's life. First as a 4-H member I had a chance to study and perfect skills in areas that I could not get in school - flower gardening, raising dairy cattle, marketing sheep as a business to fund my college education, etc... I also learned that what I did in my life experience is what mattered as I could win showmanship through dedication, practice, good animal husbandry, and training the animal to walk in step with me. The self directed learning that occurred has made me an adult who is self responsible and independent of my parents and government. Instead I am a contributing member of society.

 

Second, the coutny fair was a time when the extended family could gather to visit while keeping the cows clean. It is a more relaxed time than Sunday dinner with everyone hurrying away to do chores and evening church. It is a time of intergenerational sharing that also does not happen as easily in other settings where it is easier to separate into age related groups at the family reunion and other events.

 

Third, the county fair is an opportunity to learn about so many different areas as you look at what makes a good pig great, the bes alfalfa hay, and which photograph creates the most striking display on the wall. You have first hand access to the producers (or baker, orartist, or gardener...)  to ask any question you want.

 

Finally, the county fair is a perfect opportunity to create a coaltion of awarness to improve your community because it is a great equalizer with people from all walks of life coming together. They can participate in politicians polls, meet with the health department personnel, see what the convention and visitors bureau is doing, and generate petition signatures on issues of concern. The possibilities are endless.

 

Each county and its fair will have different facets to these issues, but all of these opportunities are here to create a better future through skill building, understanding others, learning, and problem solving at the community level. So much to see and do, I better run.

miggoo2
Friend

Re: The County Fair

I would give anything to be part of a county fair. I'm in the process of looking for a farm. I feel that being part of a county fair completes being part of the farming community. Know that someone out there is very envious of your life. If you haven't tried it maybe you should, once. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it again. But you just might be surprised.

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