It's that time of year.....yes, county fair time! All of our kids were in 4-H from fourth grade until they started college, and two of them were also in FFA. So, we know quite well the work that is involved in county fair....baking, sewing, writing, washing animals, painting, canning, etc. Oh, and when they were all in at the same time it was REALLY stress time!! All four of them took baking at some time or other, even Travis. In fact Travis baked and qualified to take rye bread and bagels to state, mostly to get under the skin of his leader who thought that was "girl stuff"! Each of them qualified to take something to state, usually yearly.
All of the kids showed cattle, even the girls. Tasha won grand champion in the dairy division several times. I can still see the kids out bathing the cattle in the yard--girls in their shorts, sports bras, and shit boots and Travis in his shorts and shit boots. They thought it was work, but they had a great time doing it. No one came in dry. Usually a quick jump in the pool was in order. The cattle were usually sold at auction after the fair, or butchered for us to eat. They loved those calves and could be brought to tears if someone mentioned that we were eating "Andy", or "Booger" or one of theirs!
There were times when a couple of the girls wantedto quit 4-H because it was a lot of work and their friends weren't in it. We insisted they stay in, and as adults they are very thankful that we did. They learned many great skills in 4-H especially public speaking skills. 4-H helped them learn to be good record keepers, be organized, be cooperative and helpful, become leaders, meet many friends, and learn to do things they might not otherwise have tried to do. I hope they will all involve their children in 4-H.
Well, we went to our first cattle show with the newest generation in our family---Payton. Iowa county had a Pee Wee Bucket Bottle Class for K-3rd graders who are too young to be in 4-H. Payton just finished second grade so he entered this class. Uncle Travis loaned him a calf to raise. It was born March 1st and Payton got it a few weeks later. He then had to bottle feed it twice a day until it was old enough to eat feed and hay, then he had to feed it twice a day again. His calfwas a black Angus/Holstein mix. He named him Case--after Case IH tractors. He spent a lot of time with Case and had him well trained to lead.
As part of this class each child had to meet with judges ahead of time to answer questions about their calf and the raising of it. Payton did quite well in his conference, but he was stumped on a few questions. The judge then also asked them questions when they were in the show ring.
The day of the show Payton was a nervous wreck! You can see in the photos that he didn't smile a bit while showing.
Case went back to Travis' and Payton had to say good-bye. He was sad, but he knows he'll get to do this again next year. We are beginning another chapter in our lives watching our grandchildren in 4-H, and we couldn't be happier!