Thursday, July 23, 2015

The fair through the eyes of a 4-H kid

The county fair was always the highlight of my summer. We got out of school the third week of June and the fair was the third week of July, so that meant it was time to kick it into high gear and work more with our cows that we were showing. I loved showing at the fairs. I was competitive, so working hard to win was exhilarating for me once I figured out what I was doing in the first or second year of 4-H. 

Another reason I loved going to the fairs was all the awesome people in my 4-H club and other 4-H clubs that I got to be friends with. I'm still good friends with lots of these folks. They're awesome! My junior year of high school, most of us had our drivers licenses so after we did dig out (what we called the early morning shift of herdsmanship, which involved washing all the cows, putting in clean bedding and getting things ready for the day), we went to breakfast at one of our favorite places in town (so convenient having the county fair in my hometown) and went off roading for a while. It was a blast. So many great memories in those barns playing cards and staying up all night hanging out with these awesome people and then getting up early the next day to get cows ready. These are some of my best childhood memories and I wouldn't trade them for anything. 

My new home county fair in Indiana starts tomorrow. It's always exciting to see the 4-H kids working with their cows and having a good time. They will remember these days for the rest of their lives. I wish I could go back to the early 2000s and relive them! 

Speaking of reliving these awesome memories, I dug out my scrapbook this week to do exactly that. Most of the pictures are of showing or hanging out or different contests, but there was plenty of work involved too. We each had to do several herdsmanship shifts throughout fair week where we (along with a few other members) were responsible for making sure all the animals were taken to get water, they had enough hay to eat, any messes were cleaned up and aisles were swept. We were judged on this and the club with the highest points got an award at the end of the fair. 

I love this picture of me showing at county fair in 2006.
These girls were washed every morning during the fair to keep them clean and presentable for the fair goers coming through the barns. Extra effort (and an extra early morning on the wash rack at 5:30 a.m.) on show day...I'm fluffing Jodie's tail in this picture and she's still wet. The show usually started at 10 a.m. and you didn't want your cow still wet or without a topline when that time came around. 
Granny giving my cow, Allie, a pep talk before the show. Allie was Granny's favorite. 

This was our Christmas card pic in 2002. Not a bad picture...if only my brothers cow would have been more excited, ha!
Love these girls! Marie, Sarah and I after the 2005 county fair show.
Goofing off and having a little fun
State fair 2005

State fair 2003...probably one of the most fun fairs of my 4-H career. 
When you win your showmanship class (juniors, intermediates and seniors), you get to do round robin and show all the different animals. We had to go around to the other champion showmen and learn about their animal (name, birthday, breed, anything else that was important) and how to show them. The llamas were not my favorite...I think I'll stick with dairy. 
State fair 2005
My brother and I...state fair 2006
Ryan and I hangin out in the tack area at state fair in '06

JoJo won County Fair Critter Queen in 2007! Doesn't she look thrilled?! LOL! Showing her as a milk cow was even more fun than showing her as a calf or heifer. She's my all-time favorite show cow. During the costume contest on the last day of the fair, I dressed her up in all her queen gear (including her sparkly crown!) and put on my dairy princess crown and we had a blast!
We even made it into the town paper for winning critter queen!
With the King County Council. JoJo wasn't a fan of all the pictures, but I loved it!
Dairy bowl! Next to showmanship, this was my favorite contest of fair week. 
Friends and dairy princesses after I won my class in 2006.
The best part about your friend being your alternate dairy princess? Giving each other ribbons and trophies after we each won our class!
Usually in showmanship, the judge will have everyone switch animals to see how well you can control another animal. 
My friends from Pierce County (the county south of us) adopted me and each of us had a royal title...princess, duchess, empress and Tony was not so thrilled with this! haha!
Jeff and Marie hanging out and posing for pictures before the show at the state fair in 2002
County fair 2002
The 4-H club after a show in 2002...the first show I won!
Just hanging out with cows and awesome people in the tack area
Playing cards in the barn on show day (hence all the white!)

Clipping heifers before going to the fair. My brother was braver than me when it came to getting that close to their feet. Yikes!

Queen for the day (or the year)...handing out awards at state fair with my friend and fellow dairy princess

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