Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bonding at the Ohio State Fair

Our family has been exhibiting at the Ohio State Fair for years, decades actually, and we look forward to our annual trip to the swine barn. Now that the boys are in 4-H, our annual trip has turned into multiple trips to the swine barn. 

Last weekend we exhibited our purebred Yorkshire gilts and boar at the fair. In a rare break in the action, Justin and I snuck out of the barn to see some fair attractions. And the kid who normally HATES pictures, agreed to be photographed all over the fair!

Our first stop was the the Ohio Farm Bureau Land and Living exhibit.

Justin was just the right age to enjoy this little remote control tractor area. He enjoyed his turn driving through a farm scene--even though he knocked over a cattle trailer. Oops.

This barn features a number of attractions, farm puppies, flower displays, pedal tractors kids can ride, a station to plant your own sunflower seed and much more. There were scarecrows with the theme "Christmas in July" and this tree from the Ohio tree growers that Justin agreed to be photographed in. 

After our visit to the Farm Bureau attractions, we visited the Ohio Department of Natural Resources park. A big highlight of any visit to this section of the fair is the chance to talk to Smokey the Bear. Smokey and his "helpers" make sure that each kid is greeted by name. Even at age nine, Justin was fascinated by Smokey's ability to "remember" him from previous visits.

When we visit the ODNR park at the fair, we always have to stop at the butterfly house. This holds a special place in my heart because it opened the year I was a state fair PR intern, many, many years ago. At the park, we also saw a number of Ohio native animals and checked out the opportunities for kids to fish and kayak for free.

We were a little tired from all that walking and decided to ride the free fair tram back to the hog barn. Just before we got back to the barn, Justin fell asleep on my lap. Instead of waking him, I just rode around another time and got another great look at the fair.

After his nap, Justin was ready to head back to business in the swine barn with more hog showing.

After a great weekend at the fair, we headed home to do laundry, repack our bags with jeans and our trailer with pigs to head back to Columbus for our second round of showing.

Just another August for our bacon farming family.

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