The Erie County Fair

We’ve been exhibiting animals at the Erie County Fair my entire life. In fact, Dad has shown cows there every year since 1975! Since I bring my goats, pigs and cows I literally live at the fair for the entire 10 days. It’s a lot of fun, but also a lot of hard work. At 5am I have to get up and milk the cows, then clean out their beds, give each one of them a bath, feed them and sweep up. Then I have to head over to the goat and pig barn and do all the same things for them, and that’s just the morning chores! Thankfully my dad, Addie and Marcus all show animals as well. We all work together to get the jobs done. By the end of the fair you’re definitely tired! (that’s the understatement of the century 🙂 ) Here are some pictures we took during the fair!

Here’s a pic of our “show string” as it’s called. In other words, our cows relaxing on their specially tended beds. My dad may never make his own bed, but he takes very particular care that the cow beds are made perfect.

our cows relaxing on their bed
our cows relaxing on their bed
Marcus and his calf Advent
Marcus and his calf Advent
Addie's sweet calf Beatrice
Addie’s sweet calf Beatrice
Ruby and me
Ruby and me
Westley loves helping with the goats
Westley loves helping with the goats
waiting to show my goat
waiting to show my goat
(photo courtesy Erie County Fair)
Ada and me in the ring
Ada and me in the ring
tired and dirty, but happy
tired and dirty, but happy
(photo courtesy Erie County Fair)
the monarch butterfly tent was really neat!
the monarch butterfly tent was really neat!
Cool! Marcus got two at once!
Cool! Marcus got two at once!
two stunning butterflies
two stunning butterflies

My favorite part of the whole fair was definitely winning Jersey Grand Champion with my cow Annabelle!! I never in a million years thought I would! For those of you who don’t know much about showing cows, Grand Champion means your cow was the best one at the fair out of their breed (in my case the Jersey breed).

Annabelle Grand Champion!
Annabelle Grand Champion!
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June 4-8: Farm 2 Table

An educational hands-on field trip program designed for third and fourth graders

“The best day I ever had!” That’s how one kid described his Farm 2 Table field trip. And who could blame him? In a time when most kids think that milk comes from a carton, this child had the opportunity to pet real live calves and piglets, talk to a maple farmer, and plant his own pizza garden.

Farm 2 Table is a unique field trip experience for 3rd and 4th graders hosted by the Erie County Agricultural Society. My sister Addison and I have helped since the program started in October 2010. Two Farm 2 Tables are hosted each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Each day for a week schools come to the Erie County Fairgrounds for an awesome learning experience about agriculture. The trip costs nothing, in fact each school wa given $100 per bus to offset transportation costs.

Addison and I have helped on various stations, including sheep (where the kids made their own Ojo de Dios craft with 100% wool yarn) and the goat station (where my own goats were on exhibit for the kids to pet). This June we were once again placed on the pig station with our wonderful station leader Laura. Our station actually had piglets for the kids to pet after they heard a talk about pigs and labled where pigs originated on a map.

Kids petting the piglets
Laura feeding the piglets
Feeding Frenzy

After our station they went to a variety of others, including:

  • Chicken: a chance to see a live chicken as well as day old chicks and goslings
  • Cow: the kids got to go on a cow scavenger hunt and “milk” our resident fake cow Mable in Milkable Mable’s Stable

  • Bees: learn about the fascinating life of bees and how honey is produced
  • Maple: get to taste both fake and real maple syrup (the Maple leader got frusterated because most kids liked fake over real 🙂 )
  • Chia Pets: a grass “hair” growing pet planter
  • Gro-Ums: garden kits with themes like pizza, salad, and taco
  • Blacksmith: a live demonstration by Paul Gresz
Paul Gresz mesmerizing the kids

All the kids have a blast and don’t even realize all the things they are learning about agriculture and where their food comes from. This year they all got to sign planter boxes that were later used during the fair. After they went through all the stations the kids ate string cheese and milk with their lunches. Before each kid went home they were given a goodie bag full of cool stuff like a horse shoe and passes for their parents to come to the fair (kids are free).

One of our Farm 2 Table ambassadors
One last cute pic

For more information about Farm 2 Table visit: http://www.the-fairgrounds.com/farm2table