It’s that time of year again when county fairs pop up all over the place. We just finished up our fair here in Natrona County, and it was a bit of a milestone of sorts for us in the Cox household, as this was the first year my boys were old enough to join 4-H and exhibit livestock.
With my job, I get to spend a considerable amount of time around what I consider to be Professional Major League “Fair Parents,” and I had hoped that over the years I would have absorbed some of their knowledge on how to survive a week of fair. We did make it through the week, but I can tell you one thing, we are definitely not ready for the big leagues yet.
That being said, at the end of the week, we were all still talking to each other, and most of us were even on civil terms. We definitely learned a lot, both parents and kids, which I guess, if you think about it, is a big part of the whole experience.
Another thing that stood out was there are so many people who pour countless hours into making a fair successful, many of whom stand in the shadows and receive little or no recognition for their efforts. From the members of the fair board, superintendents, 4-H leaders, FFA advisers, show and sale secretaries, countless committee members and the list goes on and on, fairs take a lot of volunteer support to make happen. Without them, a fair simply wouldn’t take place. The kids and their projects would simply show up and stare at each other for a week and then go home. I would like to personally thank every one of them for everything they do. Their tireless effort and dedication is nothing if not inspirational.
I would also like to thank every person who is willing to give up their day to sit through a junior livestock auction and support the kids by purchasing their livestock every year. I can’t imagine the total number of dollars generated annually across the country for the kids, but the contribution it makes to our society is immeasurable. I can think of very few places where you could spend your money to support a future generation of people who, when they come out the other end, will know the value of hard work, sacrifice and a knowledge of how the world really works.
You are giving a financial kick-start to the dreams of so many young people, whether they are saving up for college, putting those funds toward starting a herd or a flock of their own or any of the other countless ways it could be spent toward achieving a life goal, which otherwise may be out of reach. So again, thank you from all of us “Fair Parents!”
Everything considered, I think we can mark our first year in the success column. The boys are already excited about getting their projects started for next year. I do want to give fair warning to all the parents with kids showing at State Fair. Don’t get concerned if you see me wandering around the barns looking lost. I’m just taking notes and looking for pointers to improve my game for next year.
Until next time