In the middle of my county, sits an old building. The yellow building is full of wood shavings from various livestock shows that got left behind. The fairgrounds also serves as the magical place where left behind combs and buckets end up. It’s also where memories and friendships are made.
Some FFA and 4-H members would continue to carry on a family tradition of showing livestock. The kids showing in the same arena that their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents did. They can go back and look at the pictures of what the fairgrounds use to look like, and see the difference throughout the years. Plus looking back at family members when they wore the corduroy is always a neat experience.
The floors have been walked on by FFA and 4-H members who would later walk into successful careers. A place where some FFA and 4-H members would leave a lasting legacy, and shoes to fill to continue the tradition. Each member coming from different backgrounds, but not letting the differences ruin the fun had in the fairgrounds.
Sure, at time there were some rivals. At the end of the day though, the rivals would shake hands and tell the winner good job. The fairgrounds serve as a place to compete, but a place to learn how to win or lose with grace.
If the walls could talk they would tell you about the thousands of kids who led their animals in the show ring. The few animals who got loose in the ring and turned a livestock show into a rodeo. The tears after a big win or a painful loss. Each time there was an emotion that would leave a lasting memory for the kids and audience.
In the back of the fairground is where the countless fair goers would go ask the FFA and 4-H members about their animals. There is where the countless pictures take place as the show preparation begins. Where the little ones go look at the animals and dream of the day they will be able to wear those corduroy jackets. It also serves as a place where countless kids took a short nap with their animals after a long day at the show.
The fairgrounds are a meeting place. A place to make friends and connect the community with agriculture. Good luck to all of the livestock exhibitors!
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