The start of the county fair season in Ohio is just a few weeks away, Paulding County is the first Ohio fair and begins on June 12th and ending the season is Fairfield beginning October 8th. The county fair countdown begins as soon as the previous year’s fair ends. I know firsthand, my hometown has a rolling advertising sign with a daily countdown at the fairground entrance. The excitement, food, entertainment, youth displays and well, adult displays too!
Did you know that the Agricultural Societies were created for the purpose of communities to bring together farmers and homemakers to display their crops and wares? Of course, there is friendly competition but it was all based on agricultural achievement, recording of new agricultural methods and reporting those results to the State Board of Agriculture. You know, that stuff we call science and white papers to help improve our practices!
Not to long ago I watched an “Andy Griffith Show” re-run where Aunt Bee made her prized pickles to take to the county fair. Clara had been the blue ribbon winner for years and Aunt Bee was determined. She was so proud but everyone knew they were the worst tasting pickles around. But oh did they have fun watching the judging of the event. That is what it is all about, family, friends, and who canned the best pickles!
Each state has their own version of ag societies and how they recorded their outstanding production. From each state, then there is the county fair at the local level. Adults were the primary participants for many years and then youth started getting involved through 4-H and FFA projects. While our youth today seem to be the focus of our local county fairs, highlighting their agricultural achievements, record keeping and displaying their projects, (sounds familiar) I want you to think about what YOU, the adult, could participate in during your upcoming fair.
Do you have a talent for making jams and jellies, baking pies or cakes , growing flowers, vegetables, fruits and grains? Maybe you like to preserve those vegetables and fruits.
How about sewing , needlepoint, rug making, painting, etc.
Are you an amateur wine or beer maker?
Do you like showing livestock? beef or dairy cattle, poultry, rabbits, horses, etc?
Adults can participate in the senior fair or adult portion of their local county fair, below is a short list in many categories.
- open beef cattle show
- bakery and pantry products
- needle craft, art, ceramics and pottery
- flower and horticulture
- grains, vegetables, herbs and seeds
- wine making
- open horse show
Each county has their own set of rules and guidelines for participation in said events. Sometimes you can cross county lines and participate in more than one county! Visit your local county agriculture society to find out more information on the projects and events, rules and guidelines for participation.
“And the blue ribbon and the winner goes to YOU!”