Sunday, November 25, 2007

2007 Pope County Fair

I never sent out a County Fair report, so here it is. Better late then never! The fair is an incredibly busy week for us. Some times we think we must be quite crazy to do it all, but then we can't think of any part of it that we would want to give up!

Here is our itinerary for the week:

  • Tuesday 8 AM rabbits and poultry to the barn and couped.
  • Tuesday Afternoon Get all needed equipment to the fair grounds, set up club area.
  • Tuesday 5 PM Rabbit Show
  • Wednesday AM Bring Cattle to the fair grounds
  • Wednesday 12 PM Poultry Show
  • Thursday AM Bathe all cattle
  • Thursday 2 PM Cattle Show
  • Thursday 6 PM 4-H Obstacle Course
  • Friday 8 AM to 12 PM 4-H sponsored Petting Zoo
  • Friday 5 PM Market Sale
  • Friday 8 PM - ? 4-H Dance and sleep over
  • Saturday 10 AM Dog Show
  • Saturday 12 PM Horse Show
  • Saturday 6 PM 4-H Awards Ceremony
  • Saturday 7 PM 4-H Potluck
  • Saturday 10 PM pack up, load small animals and equipment and go home.
  • Sunday Am Load up cows and get them home.

It all starts with the rabbit show on Tuesday. This year, the girls only showed Lionheads. Kate won Best of Breed with Petunia. ( home bred tortoise senior doe). The girls each showed several rabbits and won several Best of Varieties. They planned their breedings to have lots of babies at fair time and sold most of them, earning a couple of hundred dollars over the week! Here is Lily, ClaireAnna's sable point junior doe.

Here are the girls, watching their Lionheads being judged.
A bunch of our Lionheads up on the show table! On Wednesday we have the poultry show. ClaireAnna shows her ducks. (this year about 10 of them) and always wins. Here is ClaireAnna with her Cayuga drake "Anderson" at the Best in Show Table. He didn't win that but he was Grand Champion Duck and Grand Champion Other Fowl! ("other fowl" are ducks, geese, pigeons and quail ) Claire also won several other ribbons with her other ducks.

On Wednesday morning, we bring in the cattle and line them up in our assigned place. Next to their stalls, we are also assigned an area for our "stuff". We have all the cattle necessities as well as a table, mini-fridge and microwave, coolers and lawn chairs for ourselves. Here are our six, all lined up.
Thursday morning we bathe all the cows. The Cattle Show is about 2Pm. Here is ClaireAnna with Rhea, a Simmental X Red Angus commercial heifer weanling. Rhea won first in her class and Grand Champion Jr. Heifer!
This is Claire with Ken, a Simmental X Red Angus feeder steer. Ken also won first in his class! Here is Kate with Argentina and Bailee (4-H friend) with Katrina. Both are Simmental X Red Angus Commercial Heifers. Argentina won first in her class and Reserve Grand Champion Commercial Heifer. (Earning Kate an extra $100!)

This is Kate with "Snow", a purebred Romagnola Heifer. She was the only one and got a first! Hehe.
Kate Showed "Skibo", her Market Steer and made the market sale. Here he is being "auctioned" at the sale on Friday, for a price of $750. It is a charity auction to benefit the kids and Kate gets to keep the steer AND the money!

The Fair is all about FUN with FRIENDS! Here is ClaireAnna with her fair buddies Dayna and Becca.

Here they are at our spot in the cattle barn.
After the cattle show on Thursday, there is a 4-H Obstacle course contest. The kids are paired up according to their age and club and run the course for prizes. It is loads of fun.
Waiting for obstacle course results.
Fun on the rides!
Friday morning, the 4-H puts on a petting zoo for the community. Almost 1000 kids from every school in town come through the animal barns between 8 Am and 12 PM. ClaireAnna decided she would let the kids pet "Pelican", her Peking hen. Kate and I held Lionheads.
Friday night is the dance. What a fun time it is. Kids of all ages, from kindergarten to graduated seniors get together, play fun music and dance the night away. There are brothers dancing with sisters, Fathers dancing with daughters, big kids with little ones dancing on their is just some of the most wholesome, family fun you can have. Then, we take the little ones home and let the big kids stay the night at the fair grounds. Some brave parents stay too to chaperon. Saturday morning, for those who stayed, the Pope County Homemakers Association ladies make everyone a delicious breakfast out of the eggs that have been collected in the poultry barn throughout the week. Yum Yum!
(sorry, my pictures of the dance didn't turn out!)
Saturday morning is the Dog show. ClaireAnna and Lucky attend weekly practice sessions for months before the fair as part of the Kanine Kids 4-H Club. Claire is VERY serious about her dog training and listens intently to the instructor. She is amazingly focused for her age and actually does better in class then most of the kids older then she. (That is the instructors comment, not mine!) There are 4 tests in the dog show: Long sit (1 minute), Long down (3 minutes), Recall and Rally (obstacle course of signs giving different commands). ClaireAnna got a first place in all but Long Down in which she got a second. ( In the dog show, each child competes against a standard for their age group, not each other ) But, there were 4 peewee age competitors and only 1 wins Showmanship and that was ClarieAnna! Here they are in the long sit.
Rally - you have to follow the directions on the signs and do each command as you come to it. Their are turns, sits, downs, heeling, u-turns, weaving, running, etc. A judge follows you and evaluates how you do at each sign. The best score wins Showmanship!
Claire receiving her awards from the judge.
Saturday at noon, is the Horse Show. During the dog show, Ted went home to get the horses and get them set up at the arena. After the dog show, the girls and I ran to the arena to start getting ready for the horse show. However, as were saddling up Cindy, we noticed that she had a runny nose. Eventually, she sneezed snot all over the place and we realized we had better take the horses home. We didn't want to spread any germs to the rest of the horses. So, unfortunately, both girls had to scratch the horse show this year. It turned out, several of our horses did come down with a mild cold and it was a good thing we didn't stay. (All are healthy now.)
Saturday evening we have the awards ceremony and 4-H pot luck. The the winners are called up and given a metal plate to hang on their wall plaques at home. Here are a bunch of the kids, waiting for the ceremony to start. Claire and Dayna are there in the middle.

ClaireAnna receiving her award for Peewee Showmanship in the dog show. Here are all the Best of Breed winners of the rabbit show.
After the awards is a wonderful potluck for all the 4-H families. Then it's time to clean up, pack up and get as much of the "stuff" loaded up as we can. We can't load up animals until 10 PM though, so we all just sit around and enjoy the last day of the fair, talk about the week and watch the last of the fair goers file through the animal barns. Then at ten, it is a mad dash to get out of there and get home. This year, we left the cattle till Sunday morning since we just had so much to do. Whew! Glad it is over.....Can't wait till next year!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mississippi Cattle Sale

On Friday, Ted, ClaireAnna and I headed off to Mississippi to a Fleckvieh Simmental Cattle Sale Ted wanted to go to. It was about a 6 1/2 hour drive. ClaireAnna, who has recently learned how to spell M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i while making her States of America book in homeschool, said, "I've always wanted to go to Mississippi and now we are going! Coincidence!" We arrived at a lovely resort hotel, Lake Tikataka something or about 7 PM and had a delicious dinner at the resort restaurant. Then off to bed. We got to the sale about 10:00 AM after getting lost for an hour due to the fact that the sale catalog told us to turn on Poor House Road which turned out to actually be Longview road which was also closed due to construction with big barricades across it saying ROAD CLOSED. We drove forever looking for Poor House Road, which doesn't actually exist! Anyway, after we stopped to ask for directions, we found it just fine! ClaireAnna found some other kids and promptly made friends, playing happily with them the whole day. The sale provided a delicious beef brisket lunch at noon with the auction starting at 1:00 PM. Ted bought only one cow, pictured above, thank goodness! If I hadn't gone with him, who knows? The new girl is named Sissy. Isn't she cute? She will be 2 in the spring, when she will give birth to a purebred Fleckvieh Simmental calf. (hopefully heifer!) A neighbor of ours who also attended brought her home for us so we didn't have to pull a trailer the whole way. We got home late Saturday, close to midnight. I think Kate was happy to have a couple of days to herself. She did hang with Jes some.

Wrangler Club Trail Ride

We had our first Wrangler Club trail ride Sunday afternoon at the farm. It is also hunting season so, as you can see, the kids all had to wear orange. For about an hour, I and another mom walked along with our little ones. Then we took a break and the older kids just took off for another couple of hours. I think everyone had a great time. There were 10 riders in all. For those of you who don't know, I have just taken over as leader of the Pope County 4-H Wranglers Horse Club. We had our first meeting of the new year (4-H year starts in Oct.) and Kate was elected president. We are really excited and looking forward to a lot of fun with the club this year.