“Fair Season”, a time of year described as the most stressful, hot and memorable part of the year. From the months of June to September, members find themselves out of school and in the barns with the projects that they have raised. They spend countless hours preparing to perform with them at their county and state fairs.
Spending time raising and training livestock or growing products to display at county fairs teaches young people the definition of hard work. They find pride in their work by showing and competing in the ring against other students. The Oregon FFA Association enjoys rewarding students with great herdsmanship, showmanship and quality animals at shows because it amplifies the dedication that the students have for the agricultural industry. This also allows students to put their knowledge, acquired from the classroom, to the test. County and state fair are the pinnacle for students to display their pride for their animals, their organization and the agriculture industry.
The Oregon FFA State Officers were able to spend time at county fairs around Oregon and cheer on the students that they serve. I, myself, was able to meet and help students at the Deschutes and Crook County fairs. Watching them prepare and show their animals was extremely enjoyable. There is something that I will never forget after competing at my county fair for over 11 years: there is no such thing as losing at a county fair. You either win or you learn from the experience. Being able to even go out into the ring with an animal is a success in itself. Being a good role model, sportsman and herdsman is just the beginning of the definition of being a good showman inside and out of the ring. Seeing students exemplify this definition and share it with younger members brings pride to their counties and this organization.
The Oregon State Fair begins in the middle of August and ends in the beginning of September. The State Officer Team attended the fair for over 16 days. We completed tasks such as setting up registration booths, making pens for animals and clerking livestock shows. We were able to watch and cheer on students in the show ring and track their scores. From small animal to livestock judging, students at the top of their counties were able to compete for the title of state champion in their divisions. After all the shows and the FFA animals moved out, we helped with the open shows and talked to the public. The desk in the metal art tent was our main station for the last few days. We would direct the public to the restroom, educate people on the Oregon FFA Association and show people the awesome metal and state exhibits that students brought in for competition. We chatted with some wise FFA alumni and learned a lot of new card games to pass the time. Meeting the members showing at the fair was by far my teammates and I’s favorite part of the Oregon State Fair. Their passion for the agriculture industry and the livestock that they have raised is unmatched.
At the end of the day, fair season is just like any other season. The burning heat and tired children… just like winter break, right? Waiting all year to show animals and exhibit at fair is always worth it in the end. The showman that show up in and out of the ring bring pride to the Oregon FFA Association.
2018-2019 Oregon FFA State Sentinel