“How was the fair?”

Even though our girls have aged out of 4-H and we no longer exhibit dairy cattle at the fair, Gary and I still get asked about the fair. Maybe it’s because our circle of friends know we are still big supporters of 4-H and local agriculture. And because of that, we still spend time at the fair. It looks a bit different, but in some ways it remains the same.

I love to watch the 4-Hers show their animal projects, especially the dairy cattle; visit the 4-H building and see the sewing projects on display; check out the hay and grain display in the ag building to see who won; wander through the Art and Domestic buildings and Flower Barn to enjoy the many different items entered by exhibitors — young and not-so-young. I have to get a milkshake from the Dairy Bar and work a shift or two to help out. I always look forward to visiting with the many friends I have made over the years and make new ones, too. Hi to my new friends I made at the dairy bar — Izzie, Ella, Maddie, Michelle and John.

Something new this year that I was asked to do was to participate in judging the Production Award contest. Dairy 4-Hers who brought a lactating cow to the fair choose to participate in this contest and take their fair learning experience to another level. The goal is that participants will expand their knowledge about what it takes to produce quality milk, using their own dairy cow’s milk production history. There are scores for a written test and production records in their project book. The third score is from an interview I conducted with each participant. I enjoyed conversing with them as they shared information about what they knew about their project. I appreciate being asked to be a part of this project.

Another big reason I spend time at the fair is because of my involvement with the Trumbull County Farm Bureau. Each year we have a booth in the ag building where we share facts about agriculture and the mission of our organization. This year we expanded our presence on the fairgrounds. In the spring we were approached by the Junior Fair Board with the idea of having a recreation area near the 4-H barns. It would provide 4-Hers and other family members a place to have some fun when taking a break from their many responsibilities. Plus, it would be open to all fair attendees. The Junior Fair Board created a hay maze and we added a volleyball court, corn hole boards and an ax throwing station (plastic).

But there is more. From the feedback we have gotten, the biggest hits were the corn box and the basketball area. The corn box is like a sand box, but with corn instead of sand. The kids had a blast digging and playing in the corn. Honestly, it’s not just for the kids; it’s actually very therapeutic for fair-weary feet. A big shout out to Family Farm & Home who loaned us some fence panels to keep it all contained. And the basketball area was more than just a hoop. A retired grain wagon was transformed by adding a large wooden backboard to support two mini hoops. A ball return was also added at the door where the grain would come out. Words really don’t do it justice. You’ll have to come next year and see it for yourself because we hope to have it and more, there next year.

I’d like to thank the Farm Bureau fair committee who made all this happen: Marsha, Marie, Gary M., Gary S., Jarred, Rich, Callae, Mandy, Monica and Kent.

The Trumbull County Fair has come and gone. As usual it was a time to keep traditions and make new ones. There is something for everyone.

Hope to see you at the fair next year.

Submitted by Mary Smallsreed, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau, who grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.


OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.


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Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

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Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

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So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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