The NC State Fair starts tomorrow here in Raleigh, NC. For so many around our state it means deep-fried everything, rides and music. For a select group of kids, and their ever-supporting parents, it’s means the culmination of a lot of hard work.
Last year, we were incredibly blessed to have to opportunity to be a part of a 4H family that allowed us to participate in various beef cattle shows. We also entered one of our chickens, as well as a poster. Bean learned quickly that the fair meant hard work, and being part of a team. She also learned that while ribbons are nice, being proud of yourself meant more. We had worked hard all year with various heifers to prepare Bean, and the cows, for the show. It was a year in the making.
This year, however, we have 7 week old goats that have only been worked with for a few weeks. We are adding a showman- Buddy to our group, who has never shown before. And other than my time on YouTube, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a goat show in it’s entirety. So to say that my nerves are high this year is an understatement.
But while my nerves are high, they are balanced by the excitement and dedication of the kids (2 legged ones). Buddy and Bean have worked hard to win the trust of their goats. And while I have spent HOURS navigating and re-navigating the paperwork that comes with showing livestock, they are spent time trying(!!) to halter-train their new pets.
And of course, since life doesn’t happen in a vacuum, fair prep has to occur at the same time as school, gymnastics training camps, music lessons, ballet, soccer games, trips out of state, and mommy and daddy working….
So are we done prepping? NO!
The goats still need to learn to walk on halter.
The kids still need to learn how to hold a show halter and look at the judge.
The goats still need their tattoos.
Mommy starts her 4 night stretch of work.
Daddy needs to go on a 4 day trip to Texas.
And, the kids need to finish their goat posters.
But, one step forward….
We drop off the chickens today!
So if you are headed to the fair this weekend. Stop by the poultry tent and check out Sally and Clementine, as well as all of the other youth poultry entries and know that you are looking at a lot of hard work.