I’m part of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. This content is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Community Outreach Programs. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own! #MyTownProud
One of the most exciting times of the year in our community is our small town county fair! Everyone comes together to show off livestock, sewing, gardening, cooking, canning, and many other projects they’ve been working on to showcase their skills! It’s an event that brings us all together to celebrate our love of agriculture, community, and our youth!
There is no way to decide what is my very favorite part of our small town county fair! Is it the food, the rodeo, the swine show and sale, the parade, or wandering through the fair building looking at all the exhibits? It’s impossible to choose one favorite part so I’m going to give you a peek at the whole week!
On of the main components of the fair is the livestock shows. We have beef, swine, and sheep shows and competitions.
The kids purchase animals in the spring then work hard all summer feeding, watering, grooming, and cleaning animal stalls. They also exercise their animals and train them to be ready to show. Each animal must gain a certain percentage of weight and be completely ready to be harvested at fair time.
The little showman spend so much time with their animal they end up falling in love with each other! Animals are a little bit like people because they each have their own personality which makes every year exciting and just a little bit different!
The swine show is the biggest of all! After the livestock sale was over I noticed a little boy who was having a really hard time saying goodbye to his pig! I think they had become pretty good friends over the summer!
It’s not uncommon to see a bunch of kids gathered around their animal catching up after a long summer of being away from each other! You have to admit there is is some small part of you that kind of wants to know what those girls are talking about!
On Saturday the kids all participate in a livestock sale where their steers, pigs, and sheep are auctioned off. The whole town shows up to bid on, and buy the kids animals. Our community is very supportive so the kids always earn quite a bit of money, which is nice if they are trying to save for college!
This year at our livestock sale our local FFA chapter auctioned a pig as a fundraiser so they could earn money to help pay for travel expenses, a few needed supplies, and a huge FFA 50th year anniversary party for the community.
Generous business, farmers, families, and individuals from our town competitively bid on that pig until they won the bid. After winning the bid they would donate the pig back to the FFA chapter and let them aution the pig off again. This happened so many times that our FFA Chapter earned over $24,000 auctioning that one pig off!
I want to tell you about a program that puts farmers in the center of the story! It’s called The America’s Farmers Community Outreach programs, sponsored by The Monsanto Fund. There are rural communities all across America that are just like mine, communities where farmers not only provide products that feed the world, but they are also providing service and support wherever they live.
Through the America’s Farmers, Grow Rural Education and Grow Ag Leaders programs, The Monsanto Fund, with the help of local farmers, celebrates the accomplishments throughout communities with grants to help them grow and thrive! A new campaign sponsored by the programs called My Town will continue this celebration of the people, places and stories that make small towns great. Share your #MyTownProud stories on social media!
Okay, back to your tour of our fair! Small Town County Fair parades aren’t exactly the same as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! My favorite part about this low-key parade is that we all know each other so when the different floats go by its a chance to see your friends! The fire truck always sprays water on my boys which is literally a blast…if I’m standing behind the bushes!
Our small town is so great to support local businesses, clubs, the music departments, the athletic department, and each other. The county fair parade is a great way for these businesses to show appreciation for all the support from our small town, and to contribute in an old fashioned way!
Somewhere along the way we have to admit that the food booths are a HUGE part of the fair! I mean who can resist fair food?
The food booths are also fun because they are all fundraisers for organizations; the Lady Lions, the Baptist Church, the Student Council, a Cub Scout Troop, and a few families! I signed up to help my cub scout run the Sno Cone booth for an afternoon and he couldn’t wait for customers! He begged every passerby to order at least one Sno Cone! Paulynn, a sweet lady from our community who had volunteered in Payson’s class at school all year in third grade, came by and it was like a class reunion ! He has the best friends!
There’s no shortage of talent in our small town that’s for sure! The fair building is full of all kinds of exhibits from wood working projects, to the most beautiful quilts, to canned goods, photography, artwork, needlecraft and gardening. My favorite part is the baking display tables chock full of cookies, candies, pies, cakes, rolls and breads! I really wish I could judge all that yummy food!
There is a section in the exhibit building for farm fresh eggs! And the fair even has a judge who goes out into the farmers fields and inspects crops awarding prizes for the best field of alfalfa, grain, corn, etc. It’s so much fun to go see what everyone has been up to!
Of course every small town county fair has to have a stellar finale! Ours happens to be a good old friendly Lawn Mower Race directly following the Pro Rodeo! The lawn mower race is my very favorite part of the evening. Community members work on their lawn mowers until they are loud and fast. They come up with the most fun ideas for decorating their lawn mowers and some even put together costumes! It’s the best small town Saturday night entertainment ever!
After our small town county fair is completed on Saturday night we’ve all gained a few pounds, had fun visiting with each other, are exhausted, and we go home with happy memories from our small town!
What fun events and activities bring your small town together? Be sure to share your own #MyTownProud stories on social media and check out the American Farmers website for more fun #MyTownProud stories! Follow the My Town Campaign on the America’s Farmers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages to see more celebrations of small towns!