The county 4-H fair is our family vacation.  It’s our best week of the summer.  And it’s a bit chaotic.

My Panda takes 15 projects.  Monkey is in mini 4-H, where they do projects for “practice” and had 3 projects.

There were months of work involved in getting projects done.  And I don’t do their projects, period.  It’s their work.  I may rip a seam that wasn’t straight enough in a skirt, or take muffins out of the oven so the 10-year-old doesn’t burn herself.  But I don’t make the muffins, sew the skirt or take care of the livestock.  4-H is about family, not about family doing the work!!

So why do we do all of this?  Because it’s fun.  My Panda loves the time with her friends.  Below shows what 4 10-year olds look like after they wrestle muddy pigs.

Muddy kids

And my Monkey and Little Man enjoyed time spent with their friends.

Monkey friends Lion friends











Then there’s the chance to teach your non-farm friends about agriculture.


Of course, when you show livestock, the animals get sold at the end of the fair.  This teaches our kids that we don’t raise pigs for pets.  We are supplying food to the world.  But what you don’t see is my Panda’s tears when Willie the Pig was sold.  After spending months working with the animals, it’s hard not to get attached.

Panda pig

There are ribbons and trophies to be won.  This is Panda’s trophy showing.  6 champions, 2 grand champions, 2 reserve champions and lots of blue ribbons.  Even a red ribbon on her soybeans!  A red ribbon means the project needed improvement.  Our soybeans were pretty small on judging day, the ribbon was a correct decision.

4H ribbons


But in the end it’s about family.  Time spent together.  Countless hours teaching our kids about hard work, winning and loosing, sportsmanship, and the friendships.  It was worth every sleepless night!

Jeanette from FenceRow to FenceRow

4th generation family hog & grain farmer, The Farmer's wife, Mom of three farmkids (my Panda, Monkey and Lion Cub), wine promoter, woman of great faith and marathon runner