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07 July 2017 - It’s County and State Fair Time

What I am about to share with you, you have heard me say many times at this time of the year. This is my favorite time of the year - summer time with the outdoor farm equipment shows, the antique tractor shows, the threshermen’s reunions and the commodity festivals, but today I want to focus on County and State Fairs, an important part of our rural history and an important part of Americana.

Many of these fairs face financial challenges because of state budget cuts. Many of them no longer receive state funds for 4-H and FFA premiums, so I encourage you to support your fair by attending and, if possible, volunteering to spend time before and during the fair to make things run smoothly.

Why do I like County Fairs? Well, number one - they bring communities together with volunteers that come together to put on the Fair. Number two - they are great educational programs for city families who do like to come out and see the farm animals, and kids particularly, like to touch the animals at the petting zoos. Fairs offer a great opportunity to educate non-agricultural people about the care given to animals and the concern over producing a quality product.

Yet, most of all, it is for the young people on the farm as well as off the farm. This is their ‘Super Bowl’ or ‘World Series’. It is the culmination of a year of working on 4-H or FFA projects, many of them in projects beyond showing animals, to compete at the County Fair or State Fair level and be recognized for their efforts, and more importantly, to learn from their efforts.

Another way to show your support...many fairs have auctions of champion livestock and I would urge you to be a bidder and buyer to encourage these leaders of tomorrow.

So, go to a County Fair. Go to a State Fair. Enjoy the Ferris Wheel the Tilt-A-Whirl and all the other attractions, but I highly recommend a visit to a judging arena in the livestock show. You will see some of the greatest drama you will ever experience as you watch a 60-pound
12-year-old try to make a 1200-pound steer behave and show well in front of the judge.

Oh, there is one more reason for my going to the Fair this year. I want to see what is the latest “food-on-a-stick” being featured at the food stands.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.