30 Days on a Prairie Farm: County Fairs

My Generation

Day 10: What's worth preserving? Friends, fun, work, and friendly competition. And friends.

Published on: November 10, 2012

When you grow up spending your summer at county fairs, there's little that warms your heart more than watching your kids enjoy their first fair. Like really. A lot.

I spent my summers showing Shorthorns at one southern Illinois county fair after another. I made friends I'll have forever, and have memories ingrained that I'll never forget. (for better or worse!) I did my time in the water tank, kicked the dirt while sitting on the showbox and slept in freshly bedded stalls at night. I learned to lead four at a time to tie-out, to toss bales and sack feed, and to clean stalls for 24 head (oh serenity, that takes a sweet forever).

And this year, Jenna got her first taste of the county fair life. Playing cards with friends, disappearing from her parents' watch 'cause we knew (sort of) where she was, and throwing endless buckets of water at the end of a long, hot, long, hot week.

Soggy but still smiling, which is pretty much the point.
Soggy but still smiling, which is pretty much the point.

I've written before about my friend, Jane, and her daughter, who's about the same age as my oldest. At 5, Jane's fiercely competitive daughter named her bottle calf "Springfield" (aspirations!) and whispered in her calf's ear, "If you want to be a champion, you have to act like a champion!"

This is a child after my own heart. She is a competitor. And the county fair gives her an outlet for her competitive spirit, and a chance to work her tail off and see the fruits of her labor. I wrote about our experience this summer, and though there were difficult days, I wouldn't trade it for the world. My girl learned and grew more in the course of a few weeks than she could have experienced in any other way.

And we wouldn't have it any other way.

 

The archives: 30 Days on a Prairie Farm

Kickoff: 30 Days on a Prairie Farm

Day 1: Working Kids

Day 2: Biotechnology

Day 3: Harvest Eats

Day 4: Church

Day 5: Biotechnology, Again

Day 6: Long Haul

Day 7: Hormones

Day 8: Weather

Day 9: Milk

Day 10: County Fairs

 

More "30 Days" farm blogs  

Looking for more 30 Days goodness? My Generation has friends and we're all blogging a "30 Days" series in November. Check out what these farm bloggers are talking about this month.

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Confessions of a Farm Wife: Life on our Farm

Le Jardin da ma Vie: 30 Reasons Why I Love Being a Farmer's Wife

Go Go Bookworm: 30 Days of Farm Kid Stories

Kelly McCormick Photography: 30 Days of Thankfulness

Pinke Post: 30 Days of a North Dakota November

Go Beyond the Barn: 30 Days of Farm Life Blessings

Rural Route 2: 30 Days of the Not-So-Glamorous Life of This Farm Wife

Touching Families: 30 Days of a Town Girl Touched by the Farming Life

This Land, This Life, This Farmer's Wife: 30 Days of Thankfulness on a Family Farm

Farmgirldays: 30 Days of Farm Kids Trapped in the City

My Cows and Pigs: 30 Days of "What's that?"

Dennis Olmstead: 30 Days in a Row

White House on the Prairie: 30 Days, 30 Posts

A Colorful Adventure: 30 Days of JP

 

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  1. Anna S of www.bancdeswissde.com says:

    Holly, you are doing a great job... keep it up :)

  2. Accueil of www.optionsbinaireseu.com says:

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  4. Gordon Kelm says:

    I am surprised they still let you have water fights at the fair! I thought with all the issues of liability and all the other risk management issues there is they wouldn't allow that any more. I haven't seen that done at our fair in years. Was a special and fun time while growing up tho.

  5. Sandy says:

    Well said Holly. County Fairs teach our children so much that they can not learn any where else.