In fact, my favorite fair of all time, the Puyallup Fair - the Washington 4-H Fair and now officially the Washington State Fair - is in full swing and 4-H kids are set to show their cattle this week.
|Showing my Guernsey calf at the state fair in 2005
For me, those "annoying" demonstrations we had to do each year about various dairy industry topics made all the difference. I put 'annoying' in quotes because I hated these presentations the first year or two and that is exactly how I referred to them when I was 12. They were annoying. I didn't like them. I was terrified of public speaking. I didn't want to get up in front of the club and present something. No way.
4-H improved my confidence and made me realize that public speaking really isn't that scary. In fact, these days I think it's fun! Who would have thought that the shy girl that wouldn't talk to anyone for the first few weeks of kindergarten would grow up to love public speaking?
Public speaking is very relevant at the fairs since many fair goers often have questions about cows, farming and the dairy industry. Knowing how to confidently speak on behalf of our industry is key.
|I did teach my cow how to be photogenic...an awesome trait for a show cow to have by the way!
|State fair 2002 with our Holstein show heifers/yearlings
Showing cows teaches young people so much, but one of the most important things is how to care for an animal. We always had to make sure our cows' vaccinations were up to date, she was eating what she was supposed to and that she was healthy. The saying, "Take care of your cows and they will take care of you" is very applicable here. While we had to get the animals ready for the show just a few times a year, they needed to be healthy and cared for every day.
|State fair was always so much fun, especially with these dairy gals
|King County Dairy Princesses circa 2005
|The dairy show in North Carolina
Why do you love showing cows?