Friday, July 26, 2013

It's Show Time!

Just a reminder (taken from Part 1- A Farm-Style Vacation, and Part 2- A Vacation For The Cows Too!)...Here in Minnesota we are deep into county fair time. Whether you are farm folks, or not, this is the time of year when many of us attend a fair to see the exhibits, enjoy the carnival, and indulge in the ooey, gooey, fair food. For generations my family has been very involved in exhibiting at county fairs. Today I am sharing the first of a three-part series about why farmers take their cattle to a fair, and the preparations it takes. I enjoyed exhibiting and showing my animals at the fair, but I was not an authority. It's time to call in the experts! I recruited my cousins from Brown's Apple Acres. Terri Dallas, Kristi Ruen, Staci Brown, and Heidi Anderson will let you in on a behind-the-scenes look at their "Farm-Style" Vacation.

Part 3 - It's Show Time!

Finally show day arrives and all the work and energy throughout the year is now tested!  Cattle enter the show ring and are evaluated by a judge, a pageant of sorts, as the animals are paraded around the ring. Led by their proud owner, the two work together to make the animal look it's very best, hoping for that first place blue ribbon.  They are critiqued based on their characteristics that make them productive to you the consumer, traits that allow them to produce milk and live a long, comfortable life.  Udder, feet and legs and dairy form are some of the terms you might hear as the judge uses the microphone to explain, to the exhibitors and onlookers, his reasons for placing the class. 

Terri and her heifer, Precious Princess, with their trophy.

There is much more to showing cattle then the grand champion purple ribbon. Friendships are made, traditions like the winner buying pizza for all the other exhibitors, and getting less sleep than anyone should get while on a vacation (remember, there are still a number of girls at home that still need their care too) are all some of the best memories of time at the fair.  Many of our very best friendships are rooted deep in our showing days.  It’s fun to see our kids excited to see their "fair" friends at the county fair, and again when they gather at the great Minnesota Get Together, the Minnesota State Fair in August.
The Apple Acres grandkids ready for the show ring in their white show clothes.
While other families may go up north or to the lake for vacation, our family's vacations, although not traditional, served a similar purpose of spending time with each other while doing something we absolutely loved.  

Brother Jim with his son Danny, the future of "Farm-Style" Vacations.
To learn more about dairy farming and dairy foods visit Dairy Makes Sense

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