Skip to content

5

Countdown to County Fair:

If you have been a fly on the wall in our house (and Lord knows you could be by the number of flies around our place) you know that the countdown to the county fair is on!

If you were that fly here are some things you might have heard:

Goal Cards

“You are not waiting until the last minute this year to write your 4-H goal cards!”

“Let’s get the goal card finished for the projects that you have finished so there will be less to do as you are wrapping up the projects.”

“Grace, did you get that goal card finished?”

Wash your calf

“Girls, time to go rinse your calves.” Insert pause and no children moving. Now with a little louder tone, “GIRLS, time to go rinse your calves.”  Again, no movement.  Now with a little more gusto and a possible threat, “GIRLS, GO GET STARTED ON YOUR CALVES OR…” think scattering mice.

Sewing

Kid-Mom, I am going to my room to sew.”

Me-”Oh, good, you know there are only 17 days until judging, so you will want to get your quilt finished up.”

Kid- “I know, but I want to make some Barbie clothes, I will finish the quilt later.”

The “ List”

“Mom, add rubber cement for my photographs to the list.”

“Jen, make sure the show box has enough fly spray in it. If not add it to the list”

“Mom, can you add a pink bucket to the list? I really want a pink one because it will look good with my heifer’s hair.”

Obviously, that was meant to be a humorous look into the countdown to the county fair through my eyes and other parents, but in reality, I want everyone reading this to know just how much time and work EVERYONE, especially THE KIDS involved in the county fair are putting in to help make it an amazing, fun event for everyone in attendance.

We, all four of us, love the fair, FFA and 4-H.  Rob and I showed at the fair and our kids love showing just as much as we did.  It takes hours of practice, elbow grease, a few wheelbarrows full of patience, and lots of laughs to prep for the fair.  I would be lying if I said it didn’t take some prodding to get the girls moving in the morning to get their calves rinsed, but seeing their smiles and listening to their conversations as they work together is worth every ounce of it. The countdown is on and I will continue to add things to the list so nothing gets forgotten, lessons can be learned, and memories can be made.  

We’ll see you at the fair!

What do you do at your house for a smooth county fair prep? Did you enjoy taking projects to the fair? What is your favorite fair memory?

From the gravel road-

Jen

20

Say a little prayer for anyone and anything that has to be outside in the Midwest this week. The forecast is calling for moderate snowfall and windchills near -50* for some areas! In all honesty farmers, ranchers, livestock, and anyone that has to be out in this stuff could use our prayers.

Pray for stock that lives out in the elements. As caretakers of livestock when a storm and temperatures, like what is predicted, is on its way we will bed sheds with corn stalk bales or straw. This gives the animals bedding that will help keep them warm and dry when they are in their sheds. When I was a kid we would often use corn cobs for bedding. I remember helping my dad spread the cobs around with the manure spreader to give the cows something dry to lay on, thinking about it now I bet they are happy we have advanced to corn stalks. I would bet they are a bit more comfortable. 🙂

Prayer specifically for tank heaters, electric waters, and pipes keep functioning in these extreme temperatures. With the temperatures that are predicted things just break. They aren't accustomed to the frigid temps, just like us!

Another thing we do when prepping for a storm and cold is make sure our animals have plenty of hay to eat and water to drink. We want to keep them a comfortable as possible and having plenty of the essentials will do just that.

This heifer is neck deep in a bale of haylage.

Another important thing we try to do is help the animals get out of the wind. As you can see (in the picture above) our cattle can get into the shed (that has bedding) to get a break from the wind. This isn't always possible for all livestock owners so many times wind blocks are built with hay bales, groves of trees, or even windbreak panels.

And sometimes... you just make a middle of the night decision to move a heifer that is due during this predicted storm to a warmer building than what you have available. Yes, at 11:00 PM on Saturday we decided to move her and our daughters heifer and calf. Thank the Good Lord that they cooperated, they walked on the trailer like it is part of their every day life and walked off of the trailer and into box stalls like nobody's business. It was almost comical.

The big girl is due with her first cal of Jan. 28th

Since they are in a nice warm area these two girls and baby have no clue that is snowing and blowing outside right now. The bonus? We get some warm playtime with this cutie!

Mr. Mouse
"Kisses for Grace"- Mouse's momma was Grace's breeding heifer for 4-H last year so she is calm as can be with us playing with her baby.

How do you prepare for a winter storm or these crazy temperature predictions? Anything special you do for your "herd" or tribe? And again, if you would, please say a little extra prayer for everyone.

From the Gravel Road,

Jen

%d bloggers like this: