Well, another successful PA Farm Show can go down in the books! Hope you all had a chance to go there and experience it at least once this year. The weather was fantastic and records were set once again for attendance! I can remember my very first farm show I participated in many years ago. I was very excited to actually be an "exhibitor" in the event I was in awe of. That year, I proudly marched my "giant" pumpkin into the vegetable room to be displayed with all the others. Little did I know that my pumpkin was going to be judged against all the fruit and vegetable farmers also displaying their product against mine. I was awarded third place for my pumpkin!
Also that year, I can remember competing in an event called Aquaculture. I loved that contest! You were first given a written exam, something I didn't enjoy as an eight year old, then the fun began. You went to a room where you were given an aquarium and filter. It was your job to bring the substrate, plants, and fish to create a small native habitat for them. I chose to create a habitat for Kissing Gouramis. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was very short and struggled to reach my tank, but I did it. I stood on an upside-down turned bucket and worked feverishly to get my tank just right and when I was finished, I was soaked from head-to-toe!
I proudly showed other commodities that year, but I must say that the pride I felt from completing the Aquaculture event has stayed with me all these years. Why am I bringing this up now? Well, this year, eight years later, I am still proud to be a participant in the Farm Show. This year was an especially good one for me too. I acted as a representative with the PA 4H State Council which offered me countless opportunities to meet some incredible people, speak at conferences, participate in celebrity cow milking, volunteered in the 4-H beef booth, and more. I also volunteered for the first time as an official Dauphin County Master Gardener. I participated in the fleece to shawl and sheep to shawl where I sheared a sheep for our team. I showed my pig, which if you read my last post, not only made weight, but it also made sale placing second in its class! Whew, sounds like a lot, but I wasn't finished there. I also helped out with Equine Showcase that my sisters participated in and volunteered for my county 4-H in the information booths.
I'm only sharing all of this with you because I was just a kid who used to get excited just going to see the PA Farm Show. Then I joined 4-H and my world exploded. The opportunities that exist for our youth are endless. Hope I've sparked some interest in you too! Oh, I hope they bring back the Aquaculture contest sometime because it was great!