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My First County Fair

I participated in my first county fair this past week as an exhibitor with Cooperative Extension and the PRISM. We set up our exhibit in the “Ranger Cabin” of the 4-H and Conservation area of the fair grounds. Among us in the area was a live bluegrass band, a history reenactor, an old fashioned Scottish soap maker, a “mountain man”, a blacksmith, and outdoor cooking of delicious cobblers, pulled pork, and stews using Dutch ovens. ¬†We were also surrounded by other exhibitors that take part in an effort to conserve different areas of the wild.

As far as the rest of the Fairgrounds goes, there was LOTS of food. There were also cows, sheep, goats, chickens, horses, rabbits, and even two reindeer. There were truck pulls, tractor pulls, demolition derbies, pig races, rodeos, and an assortment of children and adults amusement rides. Your typical county fair, I guess.

It was an exhausting week as we were there all day every day. We had a very nice set up though, we were in the cabin with DEC educators, and between the two of us we had lots of information about local invasive species. Many people came in very enthusiastic about what we are doing, and what they can do, to help control the spread of invasives. My favorite site for the week was watching the young kids come in interested in a lot of the bug and wanting to know why their bad and how they can help us to stop them. Some kids came in already knowledgeable on the subject of Emerald Ash Borer or Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other kids came in asking questions to us or their parents and genuinely interested in what had to be said. A lot of adults would end up using the cabin as a shortcut, or just look around not really raising much question or interest, so it was really reassuring that the children held such interest in the topic.

 

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Aside from the work experience, I spent some time experiencing the fair for myself. Our executive Director, Bill Schwerd, got me out and about trying and seeing some new things. He brought me to the air-soft range where I got to try my hand at using a gun like that for the first time. Following that I took my turn at using a lathe to make a box. That was a really cool experience and I joke with some seriousness that I have found my new hobby. When I return home I will take more time to sand it to perfection before putting a finish on it. Afterwards, I saw my first pig races; how funny they were.

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My turn at wood turning.

My turn at wood turning.

 

The next night I got to experience the 4-H Farmer Olympics. I was only a time keeper for these teams but boy, was it entertaining. Young Farmers in the 4-H program got to make teams of 4 to compete in 4 different events and the team with the fastest overall time, wins. The first race was a wheel-barrel race where the operator was blindfolded with a person in the barrel and the other two teammates had to direct the operator where to turn. It was so funny watching these kids. They ran into hay bales and the posts that held the tent up and kept the crowd laughing with the following events too. Afterwards, I watched a few truck pulls before heading home.

The week as as fun as it was tiring. I met a lot of great people and heard many great stories from new friends. This is not my last post yet, that will be next week, but I would really like to thank those that have made my experience at Cooperative Extension here in Saratoga County a great one. I have really enjoyed all the opportunities that have brought me out of the office to meet people in the community. These past 9 weeks have been a lot of fun.

Look out for my last post next Friday about my time with Christina Hall at Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls informing people and farmers about our project we conducted this summer.

 

 

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