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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Lessons learned at a county fair

  • I spent much of my waking hours this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Redwood County Fair watching 4-Hers show everything from Alpine goats to Netherland Dwarf rabbits. While it is a tad monotonous to see a judge eyeball a steer for the 47th time, I still enjoy being in that environment for one very good reason....


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  •   I spent much of my waking hours this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Redwood County Fair watching 4-Hers show everything from Alpine goats to Netherland Dwarf rabbits. While it is a tad monotonous to see a judge eyeball a steer for the 47th time, I still enjoy being in that environment for one very good reason. The kids who show those animals always teach me something. It’s not about the animals themselves that I?learn my lessons, but it is in watching those 4-Hers in the ring where those lessons occur. It all started when I heard one of the 4-Hers who was planning to show animals at the fair had to miss an entire day of showing because he had to be at a funeral. Yet, rather than miss out on showing those animals other 4-Hers stepped up and showed them for their fellow 4-Her. My second lesson came at the horse arena. I am willing to admit of all of the livestock shows at the fair the horse show is my least favorite for one reason. The judge is too far away from the people. Part of what I like about the 4-H shows is hearing the judge interact with the kids, and having a judge in the middle of a ring some distance away from the people makes for a very long day. Yet, the 4-Hers make up for that as I?listen to their conversations. What impresses me the most is the level of encouragement those horse project participants offer to others. The shows are in essence a competition where those involved compete for the top place in everything from Western showmanship to pole weaving. Yet, as the 4-Hers compete, others cheer them on, offer advice on how to improve and generally give one the impression they really don’t care who wins in the end. Showing animals at the fair is hard work, and I?am always impressed to see those young members in the ring handling animals which dwarf them. I appreciate those who struggle with a steer or dairy cow but in the end just keep smiling because at least they give you the impression they are having fun. When I?was in  4-H I know there were times when I?did not do as well on a project as I?thought I?would, and I was determined to change that. Having watched some of these 4-Hers since they were Cloverbuds and now are graduating from high school, I?smile when I notice just how much they have improved. I also enjoy it when a 4-Her who has not had a lot of luck in the ring year after year finally sees that success. Those moments when a 4-Her is handed a purple ribbon are indeed priceless. The county fair is much more than just about winning. It in itself becomes a place where learning takes place, and I, for one, know there are still plenty of lessons to be learned. I look forward to my 2013 county fair education. … We had our first tomatoes of the season earlier this week, and I?have to say there is absolutely nothing better in my mind than a fresh, homegrown tomato. While the Krause garden, like other plants in the area is in need of water, things have been looking pretty good. I have noticed a few bugs hopping from my green beans to my potatoes and then to the cabbage. So, I did something about it. A bit of pesticide dust was sprinkled on plants after I?had looked up into the sky only to see blue. Yet, not that many hours after I had finished the job, a small amount of rain fell – just enough to wash off my work. I?guess if we want it to rain, we now know what we have to do. So, get out there and apply that herbicide and pesticide so we can end this drought.
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