Skip to main content

Making Memories at the County Fair


My kids are filthy, my carpet is littered with sawdust, there are no clean blue jeans in the house. Yep, it's county fair time!

For a farm family, the county fair is part livestock bragging rights, part social gathering, part family reunion, and part marathon. For us, it means making sure our seven-year-old is ready to show his gilt (female pig), the four-year-old has eaten something more than the candy he got from pee-wee showmanship, and the two-year-old hasn't been run over by a cow--because the cow would not want to know her wrath.

The
Montgomery County Fair is the culmination of our summer of hog showing. This year our combined family (ours plus my husband's brother's family) brought six gilts, four head of dairy (cows), plus a myriad of cakes, cupcakes, scarecrows, etc.


Here, Justin, Ryan and Morgan pose with the 2008 Montgomery County Pork Queen. Believe it or not, that title is a big honor.

They are celebrating Ryan's grand champion gilt and Justin's win in the 3-4 year-old pee-wee swine showmanship class. He managed to win, even after hitting the judge in the be-hind with his pig whip.



Little sister needs to pay attention and learn from the 3-4 year-old champ.


My sister-in-law was inspired by the displays that the big dairy farms put up at the Ohio State Fair--many include water features, painted murals of the farm, their prize cow sculpted in butter, and more. This one was awarded best dairy display at the fair.

Justin was too busy eating candy to show off his trophy, so Morgan stepped in to share her participation ribbon (it's PINK!) and Ryan had a minor stroke (just kidding).

We have exhibited Ayrshire dairy heifers (females) at the fair for 40+ years. And only once in that time did we actually have any competition. But no matter, we persevere on and are introducing a new generation of the family to the method of walking into the ring and collecting multiple ribbons, then exiting. They are also learning how to cash the premium check.


A motley crew of future dairymen (and dairywomen) participated in pee-wee dairy showmanship.

My husband and I have so many fond memories of our time at the county fair and our years in 4-H. I know our children are also having fun while learning important life lessons:

  • The hard work you do behind the scenes pays off when you're on display
  • Put your best foot forward, even when you have no apparent competition
  • If you walk behind the bull, you will step in it

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happily Ever After

Last weekend, in a brief moment of remote control ownership, I tuned into basic cable and saw a very disturbing show called "Rich Bride, Poor Bride." I watched two episodes and didn't see what I would call a "poor" bride--although actually, after they blew their budgets, both brides probably did end up poor. One couple spent about $75,000. They talked her out of having live peacocks at the reception.

That makes me think about my own much simpler but very nice-for-Farmersville wedding over a decade ago. In many ways it was a disaster.

We were engaged for a year and a half; we had plenty of time to plan but fates conspired against us.

By the time we got to the week of the wedding, we had buried two people on the guest list and paid our respects to a distant uncle. One of the people we lost was my husband's grandfather who died Monday, we had visitation Wednesday, funeral Thursday, rehearsal dinner Friday, wedding Saturday. How his grandmother handled it is beyo…

Weekend Plans Cut Short

I haven't been at my current job long enough yet, apparently, because people still make the mistake of asking me what are you doing this weekend? I say that it is a mistake to ask me about my weekend plans because that question is supposed to be followed with an ordinary answer like going to see a movie or yardwork.
But when you ask me about my weekend plans, you're likely to get an answer like this: well, we'll be pretty busy getting ready for our pig auction. Husband has to give haircuts to 100+ pigs.
Yes, you read that right. Pigs get haircuts. Husband is grooming them for the pig auction (we call it a sale) that we are having on Saturday. In the market for a pig? Head over here.
Pigs have short, coarse hair that in days of old was used to make brushes (and maybe still today). Husband and other pig farmers clip the hair of the pigs shorter to make them look more appealing to potential buyers, who in this case are 4-H kids and parents looking for a hog to take to the count…

Rejected by Nancy Cartwright

Every two years the nationally renowned Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop is held here in Dayton. The event typically sells out in hours, but one way to gain entry is to enter the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition--there is even a category for local writers.


Several of my local friends who are great bloggers and hilarious Facebook commenters have been talking smack about winning this thing since we were all shut out two years ago by booger stories.

Nancy Cartwright, Dayton native and the the voice of Bart Simpson, judged the finalists this year. Apparently, she did not like my entry.

Recently, famous blogger and author Jenny Lawson shared an article she had written that was rejected by Oprah's magazine. So, inspired by her, I will share my article that I'm sure made it all the way to Nancy [it did not] and then was rejected for not being about boogers or port-a-johns.

Check out "All the Dreeds of Pigs" in a future post on this blog.