Each year as the Redwood County Fair comes to a close, there is a sense of relief combined with that “is it over already?” feeling.

Each year as the Redwood County Fair comes to a close, there is a sense of relief combined with that “is it over already?” feeling. Being involved with a county fair in this business means spending countless hours on the grounds photographing kids showing their livestock and chasing down those youth who earned purple ribbons. (You can see the result of those efforts in a special section being inserted in Monday’s Gazette.) While it is exhausting for me, I know there are so many others who have invested a lot more time in helping make all of the fair events possible. Planning for a great fair, like we have grown accustomed to in Redwood County, begins long before the dates show up on the calendar. I can’t even fathom the number of hours those members of the county fair board put in to get the grounds ready, schedule entertainment and contact sponsors to help make it enjoyable. I determined early on to try and get to more of the fair activities this year than I had in the past. Typically the farthest I get is to the 4-H building, as I take in eight livestock shows in two days and help the Krause progeny get their projects ready. I did make it to the exhibit building this year and was pleasantly surprised with the number of people who had set up booths in the building. This is just one more of the dramatic improvements that have been made through fair board efforts. As I watch shows and talk with youth about their projects I always notice in the background those who have helped make the efforts of those kids possible. Behind every successful 4-H member is a mom, dad, grandparent, sibling, friend or neighbor who has helped put those finishing touches on projects. I know there are dads who were busy clipping cattle and hauling goats to the fair. I also know there are plenty of moms out there who were up to their necks in display boards, construction paper and information helping their 4-Her compile their information in a form that was organized and legible. On behalf of those 4-Hers, I say thank you to all of you. I want to express a special word of thanks to Tony Kramer of Lucan who helped to make a dream come true for my Amos. For several years Amos has been talking about showing a pig at the fair, and each year, in typical fatherly fashion, I kick the can down the road. “Maybe next year,” I say. Well, that next year was actually this year, and thanks to Tony there was a crossbred Hampshire gilt taking up space in our shed for several months leading up to the fair. Amos and Charlotte had a great time at the fair, and his success also has led to a trip for them to the state fair. I swore I would never allow pigs on the farm, because I was never really a fan of them growing up. Being raised on a pig farm, I halfheartedly was in-volved in the operation. Honestly, I think if those animals had to rely on me they would have starved. So, thanks again, Tony, for helping to make this such a positive experience for Amos. He already has plans to expand the herd next year. … If you haven’t heard yet the Cornerstone Church men’s ministry is hosting a youth camp scholarship fundraiser Aug. 14. The event includes my friend Dwight Hollingsworth’s famous sweet and sour sauce, fried rice, egg rolls and fortune cookies and chicken broccoli. For $15 you can enjoy this meal at the Legion. For more information, call (507) 637-8683.