It’s county and state fair time! For many, that means loading up kids and cattle and taking the annual family vacation. And, as exhausting as a week in a camper at a cattle show can be, it’s being together that counts, right? Fair time means indulging in strange concession items like deep-fat-fried Oreos and spaghetti-on-a-stick. It means getting glue and paint stains on your new jeans. It means visiting with friends and family from across the state, who are like best friends, even if you only see them a couple of times each year. It means working together and watching your prized calf walk through the ring. And, winning or losing, it means teaching important life lessons to the kids holding the halters.
It's the best time of year for making lasting memories, and in September, we will be celebrating these memories with a new photography contest! And, you guessed it, the theme of the contest is, "State Fair Memories," so grab your cameras and start capturing images of the two things we love the most in agriculture -- kids and cattle!
The prizes for this contest will be sponsored by yours truly. Have you heard I published a children's book? The book, "Levi's Lost Calf," was released on July 29, and I can't wait to share it with all of you!
When a young boy, Levi, rides out one autumn morning with his family to round up the cattle and bring them home from the pasture, he quickly sees a number of familiar faces. But, Levi was surprised to learn that one calf was missing – Little Red, his favorite red heifer calf. Determined to find the calf and prove his independence, he begins to search with his horse Pepper and trusty dog Gus. The trio search high and low, all over the ranch. They examine the barn, the grain bin, the corn field and many more places you would imagine a calf might hide. In his hunt for Little Red, Levi discovers a whole world of fun, playful animals living on the ranch, and Levi invites the reader to help find the baby calf before the sun goes down.
In a time where today's consumers are three generations removed from the family farm, this book will introduce kids to ranchers who serve as stewards of the land and the caregivers to the many animals. Readers will get to experience a real-life cowboy adventure, complete with horses, cattle and a new understanding for where our food comes from. Parents will enjoy the positive message of the book and might be reminded of the good old days when they may have visited grandpa’s farm.
I will be giving away five copies of the book, two to our champions and three to randomly selected voters, but if you can't wait that long, the book is available for sale in paperback here.
You have an entire month to prepare, so get out there and make some lasting memories! Below are a few of my favorite past blog posts about state fair time. Take a minute to read through the oldies, and tell us today, what's your favorite state fair memory?