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The kids have been working hard all summer preparing for this week and it’s finally here.  The County Fair.  The heat and humidity are brutal, but the kids don’t seem to mind a bit.

Yesterday, Kendrah, Maddie, and I worked in the 4-H building while exhibits were being brought in and judged.  It’s always fun to see all of the different projects created by the 4-Hers.  The girls brought projects that they made during the past school year, so there was no “finishing up” pressure on them during the last week.  In the evening  Brandon and the boys loaded up our show pigs and got them situated in their pens at the fair.  Brandon wanted to haul them when it was cool, but there’s no let up in the heat, so evening had to do.  Pigs can’t sweat to cool themselves off, so it’s extremely important to keep them cool with a fan or water.

Today it was the cattle’s turn to take a trailer ride to the fair.  Trying to avoid the hottest part of the day again, Brandon and the kids loaded the cattle up around 7:00am, and got them under fans before it got too hot.  The kids also had to get their market animals weighed.  It sounds like there was only one pig that escaped into the goat barn, but he was quickly put back with his penmates.

After all the chores are done, the kids get to participate in their favorite part of the fair… socializing.  On top of all the great things 4-H teaches youth, the kids make great lifelong friends.  This evening Kendrah, Maddie, and Max will all take part in beef and hog one-on-one interviews.  Being able to communicate effectively is such an important skill. 

Tomorrow the kids will participate in the beef  cattle show and Thursday will be the hog show.  By the end of the week we need to get the toothpicks out to keep our kids’ eyes open.  What a full and fun week it will be.

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I haven’t been feeling like much of a runner or farmer this past week.  A cattle show and illness have prevented me from running much and my marigolds are being consumed by slugs.

My family spent last Thursday-Sunday in Albert Lea, MN at a cattle show.  The days were filled with activities, which didn’t leave any time for running.  Minnesota hosted the show so we had the responsibilities of serving meals, organizing events, and providing entertainment.  On Saturday evening a fellow pork producer grilled boneless pork chops for supper.  They were delicious and got rave reviews! 

Maddie & Brandon

Maddie did very well with her showing and, of course, didn’t find any time for running either.  Above are a picture of her and Brandon enjoying the day.  Maddie and I have both been fighting some type of cold/flu.  I’ve had a sore throat and body aches off and on for a week now and have been feeling sluggish.  I’m sure hoping I start feeling better before Grandma’s race this weekend. 

On Wednesday we have a National Pork Board tour coming to our farm and staying for dinner.  It should be an enjoyable event.  I’m not meticulous about how our yard looks, but I want it presentable.  I was outside this morning pulling a few weeds and found slugs everywhere on my marigolds.  They have just about consumed every leaf on every plant.  After some quick research, I learned they like beer more than they like marigolds, so now I have some beverages available for the slugs in the flower garden.

If I can be rid of the slugs and my sluggishness by the end of this week, I will consider it a success.  Wish me luck!