County Fair 2015: Tears, Laughter, Lessons

County fair is over.

It was done 7 days ago, but I came home with a nasty head cold so pretty much lots of last week was spent laying on the sofa.

We started the week by fitting our goats.

This involves washing them,

clipping their hooves,

and shaving them for fair.

My project all works together and spends the bulk of the day at the farm; I love seeing the older ones helping the younger ones.

That Monday morning before fair I got a phone call from the girl who watches our goats. She said that one of them wanted to just keep laying down and didn't look right. We headed out there right away to check him.

He was not acting right, and after observing him for a while, we realized he wasn't peeing.

Goats pee pretty often, but wethers are susceptible to blockages. After a couple of hours and ruling out a few other things, we took him to UC Davis Animal Hospital.

It was not good news; he had fluid all through his abdomen and they could not find his bladder on the ultrasound. It was very sad, but we had to put him down. The girl who lost him had a great attitude; it was especially sad because she had really worked hard with him and was a great showman. And very sad, because now she had nothing to auction.

Losing a goat the day before fair was devastating....I spent the rest of the day trying to get permission for her to show another goat and finishing the 56 things on my To Do List. We did get approval for her to show Bookworm's second goat, but there wasn't anything we could do to get her into the auction.

The next day we headed to the fair.

I had planned a new display for our project and the kids helped to decorate it and put it up.

And God was so good.....we were given adequate stall space and my eight bales of straw were delivered and waiting for me.

Our goats came in that afternoon and everything was in place.

The next day was weigh in. Boring so no photos. Everyone made weight and the lamb, even though he was a heavy-weight at 145 pounds, still looked good.

Thursday the fair officially opened and we had all our goat competitions.

All the kids did great; in market Bookworm got first in her class.

Showmanship was lots of fun; Nutsy got 3rd in Novice.

And seniors was pretty competitive; Dasher got 3rd and Bookworm got 2nd.

They were all winners in my book.

Friday was the lamb day.

Here is Mr. Lego, showing for the last time ever.

He did so well, and got 2nd in market class.

The sheep judge was a little strange. For novice showmanship he had all 25 kids get out there at one time. They were so stacked on top of each other that they had to show at angles.

And then they couldn't even complete a circle around the ring.....he quickly pulled 8 kids and dismissed the rest.

Which brought Mr. Lego's 4-H career to an end.

I am so proud of him, and all he accomplished these last 6 years!

 Bookworm made the cut and ended up winning novice showmanship.

She went on to compete in seniors, and took 3rd.

This was where things got interesting. We have kids in our fair that compete in both 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America - a public high school program). You can only show in one organization per species, but really good kids can win multiple animals species, and then they declare which species/organization they will use to get into master showmanship.

So, the girl who won sheep seniors decided to show in FFA masters. Then the 2nd place girl was actually the junior winner, and she opted to compete in junior masters.

Which bumped Bookworm up to senior 4H master showmanship.

We only found it out the next morning, about 3 hours before masters started. She quickly hooked up with a few other kids, and they went out and worked with some steers and hogs.

Master showmanship is lots of fun to watch.



Dairy goat



I loved this photo I shot of the whole group of master showman watching horse.


And the results? 

3rd place in 4-H senior master showmanship.

Sunday was auction; all the kids in my project did well and made enough to do the whole thing over again next year. Except of course my one girl who lost her goat; she wrote up a special letter and distributed it to the buyers that day.

And it wasn't all work.....

Clover Club goat project potluck dinner

Playing with another club in the stalls after auction.

Ninja Destruction

Card games

I had a great group this year! They all worked so hard, and even though there were tears, tough lessons, and lots of work, we had a successful fair year.


  1. What a busy week! So sorry that young lady lost her goat. Great job for all your children and their mama!

  2. Thanks so much, Lisa! As a fellow 4H mom, I know you understand. :)

  3. Wow, so incredibly busy! I'm glad I got a chance to see you guys, however brief. :)

  4. I know Shecki; I am SO glad you came by! I wish we could have just sat and visited for a while. :)

  5. Oh my goodness. That sounds like so much work and running about. Not sure I'm willing to take this on, but I like hearing about your adventures!


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