So I am sitting here at work and outside my door it’s County Fair Time! I work for a livestock show as it is but when county fair comes around, it just makes my day! In front of my office, I have 5 Bengal tigers and 1 Siberian (I think) just chilling, we have 5 sharks and today the monkey display is going up. Now you may not agree with these animals or those that are shown by children being put on display but let me share with you my opinion about County Fairs. I have never seen a tiger this close and will likely never again in my life as I am sure many of these children coming to the fair will as well so how educational and what an experience for those of us just wanting to see what we so rarely get to see in real life.
I was born and raised on a farm so I understand the complexities with which farmers, ranchers and agriculturalist deal with. My dad still runs a farm, my brother works for a farming non-profit, my sister and her BF work on a ranch and I work in a livestock show office so to say we are involved is accurate. I raised a lamb in 4H when I was younger but as much as I understand the process of raising an animal for food, I was too softhearted and couldn’t do it so after 1 year I quit that and instead joined FFA working in the classroom and at an insurance office that insured farms and ranches. I get it though; I want my kids to be able to make that decision. I loved the county fair growing up and went every year as my siblings always had animals to show and sell. My husband was raised the same way. People often comment that it hardens a child to the plight of a defenseless animal but I disagree. I love animals well except pigs and that is just a personal thing (I think they smell) but I believe that they were put on this earth to provide nutrition for the human race much like I believe fertile ground was meant to be farmed so that people could survive. My kids will be able to make that decision and I am proud of the people that my siblings and I have grown to be and know that a lot of our beliefs and lifestyle choices are to protect what we have been raised with and I hope I will be able to say the same for my kids someday down the road. My parents knew I wasn’t comfortable with the loss of an animal that I had felt was a friend and allowed me to stop doing that project much like the parents of these county fair kids.
County Fair comes once a year and thousands of people that otherwise have no interaction with agriculture besides buying food at the supermarket come out to see the animals and ride the rides. We have sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, poultry and more for these children to come and visit. There is an education area ran by farmers and ranchers which allows the children visiting to get hands on experience. It’s awesome!
Yes, I understand at the end of fair most of these animals will be processed but having seen my fair share of slaughters I can honestly say I would rather buy meat from a child that had raised it and cared for it than one from the supermarket. People who disagree with children raising animals more than likely disagree with mass produced agriculture as well so why bother arguing with them. Here is why, because maybe you will read this and if you know me personally you can vouch for the honestly and caring manner with which I can give my opinion and if you don’t you might just come away thinking a little harder about the plight of the agriculturalist against the consumer because that is what mass media has turned into. It is no longer what is best for the population but rather what are the agriculturalist doing wrong and what are they doing to your food. This is not what it should be about and if you look closely at your neighborhood farms, you will see someone just like you, trying to make a living for their children and themselves in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
So I know this post is supposed to be about blessings but that is strictly my point.
I am blessed with the fact that I was raised on a farm, that my parents believe wholeheartedly in the way of life that they were raised with that they chose to do the same with their children.
I am blessed with the fact that I married an ag kid myself (even if in his day job he plays a lawyer) and will raise my children in the same manner.
I am blessed to work in an industry that I so fully believe in and support.
I am blessed that I get to sit in my office and watch the joy on these county fair kids face and their pride in raising their animal.
I am blessed with the ability to share my opinion and discuss it with those of you who read this blog!
If you have a difference of opinion than mine, share it. Please remember to be respectful in your rebuttal because although I love discussing the ins and outs of why I support agriculture I will not engage in an argument that is neither educational nor beneficial to either party.
Thank you and I hope the next time your county fair comes around, that you take your children and enjoy the efforts of those trying to promote and sustain agriculture. I’m off to see if the exhibitors of the tigers will let me pet one!