From Farm to Table: Local Connections that Matter
Jun 22, 2014 08:18PM ● Published by Laura Ustanovska
As the summer heats up, so do the entries for the local county fair. Children across our state are hard at work growing vegetables and flowers, preparing projects and crafts and raising animals for the enjoyment of fairgoers—and to win the coveted purple ribbon. County fairs are as American as apple pie and are a reflection of yesteryear.
Remember reading about county fairs in Farmer Boy and Charlotte’s Web? Both books give a homey impression of an event where local folks showed off their prize livestock and yummiest preserves. Today’s county fairs are similar—ladies still show off their homemade quilts and jellies, kids display their homemade projects like woodworking and decorated cakes, and local livestock, many of which have been raised by children, are shown and even auctioned off.
Much smaller than a state fair, county fairs boast of low ticket prices and, often, free parking. Lines are shorter, too. With exhibitors all coming from the local area, it is common to get to meet the people, children and adults, who make the fair happen.
Our children show their projects at the Washington County Fair. Located in West Bend off Highway 45’s PV exit, the Washington County Fair Park is easy to find. The fair runs from July 22-27 this year. Attend on Wednesday, July 24, in order to participate in the Junior Livestock Auction at 6pm. Purchase a whole steer, hog or lamb from one of the junior exhibitors and win twice by supporting local agriculture and filling your freezer.
Suddenly, attending a county fair can become more than just a day of entertainment. It can become another way of supporting local farmers. Even better, it is a way of supporting future local farmers. If you haven’t attended a county fair lately, perhaps this would be the year to give one a try. It’s one more way of getting tasty meats from local farms to your table.